A Georgia Southern basketball standout and a teammate who just graduated have been arrested on drug and weapons charges after investigators executed a search warrant at a Statesboro apartment, according to the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office.
Eric Ferguson, a 6-foot-8 forward and former All-Southern Conferrence men's basketball player, and recent graduate and 6-foot-1 teammate Brian Holmes were arrested after investigators with the Statesboro-Bulloch Crime Suppression Team obtained the warrant and searched an apartment at 111 South on Rucker Lane on June 26, Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson said in a news release issued Wednesday.
The search was performed after officers received complaints of "drug transactions" from the apartment, Anderson said. During the search, investigators recovered marijuana, various controlled prescription drugs and an "AR-15 style rifle," the sheriff said.
Holmes, 22, of Rucker Lane, was arrested on the scene. Ferguson, 24, of Maple Street — described as a second tenant of the apartment — turned himself in earlier this week at the Bulloch County Jail.
Ferguson and Holmes were each charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a schedule II drug, possession of a schedule III drug, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession/use of a drug-related object.
Georgia Southern sports information director Barrett Gilham said Wednesday afternoon that Athletics Director Tom Kleinlein is out of town and will be through the holiday weekend. Gilham added that Kleinlein would not be able to comment until he received more information on Ferguson's arrest.
"He wants to sit down in person with Eric before he determines any penalties," Gilham said of Kleinlein.
Ferguson sat out last season with an injury and was expected to be a key player in the 2014-15 season, the Eagles' first in the Sun Belt Conference.
Fergson, a Statesboro native and Statesboro High School graduate, scored a team-high 13.5 points per game and grabbed a team-leading 6.2 rebounds per game during his junior year, the 2012-13 season. He scored his 1,000th career point against North Florida in the final game of the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic and scored more than 20 points in five games. He also matched a career-best 14 rebounds in an overtime loss to North Carolina A&T, according to Georgia Southern's athletics website, gseagles.com.
Ferguson was an All-SoCon selection by coaches and media in 2011-12 and was named to the 2012 SoCon All-Tournament Team. He was also a SoCon All-Freshman selection by coaches and media.
Holmes, whose hometown is Sanford, Florida, played 26 games, starting four, in the 2012-13 season. He transferred to Georgia Southern in 2011 from Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida.
Ferguson and Holmes are the latest in a string of current and former Georgia Southern athletes, many of them football players, who have been arrested this year.
Wide receiver Kentrellis Showers was arrested, along with a woman, Jomeshia Jquana Slaughter, in June after Statesboro police responded to a call about a verbal altercation that turned physical, according to a police incident report. Slaughter was charged with battery and Showers was charged with simple battery.
Former running Irving Bryan Huggins was charged with several drug offenses, and Octavius Tirrel "Tay" Hicklin was arrested for possession of a small amount of marijuana in May after Crime Suppression Team investigators served a search warrant at an apartment at Cambridge at Southern-The Pines. Hicklin was suspended indefinitely from the team.
Defensive end Deonte Dempsey was arrested after biting a police officer during a drug bust and was subdued by a Taser in April, according to the CST. Officers seized a pound of high-grade marijuana from Dempsey's Lanier Drive home, officers said, and Gilham said Dempsey was suspended indefinitely from the team.
Also arrested during that drug raid were former Eagle football players Joshua Rowe and Javon Mention, on drug charges, officers said.
In February, former Georgia Southern fullback Dominique Swope was released from the Bulloch County Jail on a $25,000 bond after his arrest for involvement in a Feb. 9 altercation in the Cambridge at Southern apartment complex. He was charged with aggravated battery after the fight with another former GSU football player, Cameron Zaquan Lewis, who suffered "serious head trauma," according to reports. Swope was removed from the team after the arrest.
Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.