Suspected cocaine trafficker arrested
by Wes Mayer
A man driving erratically on Interstate 85 in Coweta County was later arrested Wednesday after a Coweta Sheriff’s Office deputy noticed an odd bulge in the driver’s pants.
Around 10 a.m., Sgt. Jeff Bugg pulled over a vehicle south of Newnan around the 38 mile marker of I-85 southbound, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the sheriff’s office. According to Yarbrough, Bugg observed the vehicle fail to maintain its lane and it appeared to be bouncing as it was driving down the highway.
Bugg identified the driver as Gene Earl Easterling, 42, who has been arrested before in Coweta County for trafficking marijuana, Yarbrough said. Bugg asked Easterling why his vehicle was bouncing, and he claimed it was due to poor suspension. Bugg then asked Easterling to step out of his vehicle, and when he did, Bugg saw a strange bundle in between the man’s legs.
This bundle turned out to be a pound of suspected powdered cocaine that was duct-taped to the side of Easterling’s leg, Yarbrough said. According to various legal websites, any amount more than 28 grams is considered trafficking cocaine — a pound is almost 454 grams. Amounts more than 400 grams carry a minimum sentence of 25 years and a fine of $1,000,000.
Easterling was charged with failure to maintain lane, driving with defective equipment and trafficking cocaine, and he was transported to the Coweta County jail.