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Two men convicted of drug trafficking
One man sentenced to 15 years in prison
0424DRUG-EricDemetriusVarner
Eric Demetrius Varner

A traffic stop for an illegal U-turn led Oakwood police to find nearly a quarter-pound of cocaine with a street value of $10,000 in 2008.

On Friday, two Gainesville men were convicted in Hall County Superior Court of trafficking the cocaine, and one was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Brian Bernard Harrison, 32, was sentenced by Judge Bonnie Chessher Oliver to 25 years, with the first 15 to be served in prison and the remainder on probation, and ordered to pay a fine of $200,000, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Bagwell said.

On Friday, a jury convicted Harrison and co-defendant Eric Demetrius Varner, 38, following a weeklong trial.

Varner’s sentencing was deferred until next week.

On Aug. 24, 2008, an Oakwood police officer pulled Varner over after he made an illegal U-turn on Winder Highway near Atlanta Highway. The officer noticed one of the occupants appeared to be hiding something.

A search of the car turned up 106 grams of cocaine under the passenger seat, nearly four times the minimum amount of cocaine required for a trafficking charge.

Varner was on felony probation at the time of the traffic stop. Both defendants had prior convictions for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, Bagwell said.

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