Former Sergeant for Gates County Sheriff’s Office Arrested for Stealing Firearms and Drugs from Criminal Cases
RALEIGH – The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr. announced that a federal grand jury sitting returned an indictment charging BRANDON SCOTT HAWKS, 33, of Eure, NC with two-counts of possession of a stolen firearm, and one-count of possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of controlled substances. Each of the firearm offenses carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison, and the drug offense carries a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.
HAWKS was employed as a deputy with the Gates County Sheriff’s Office since 2006, and held the title of Sergeant in 2017. The indictment alleges that beginning on July 23, 2017, and continuing until December 6, 2017, HAWKS possessed a stolen firearm, specifically a Glock 26 handgun. The prosecution alleges that the firearm was unlawfully seized by HAWKS during a traffic stop on July 23, 2017, was never submitted as evidence to the Sheriff’s Office, and was found at HAWKS’ residence on December 6, 2017.
Count Two of the Indictment charges HAWKS with possessing a stolen firearm from May 27, 2014 until December 6, 2017. Finally, Count Three charges that on December 6, 2017, HAWKS possessed with the intent to distribute several controlled substances, to include heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The controlled substances were considered property of the Gates County Sheriff’s Office and were seized during criminal investigations.
HAWKS was terminated from his employment with the Gates County Sheriff’s Office on December 6, 2017, the day that all of the above items were recovered.
This case is part of the Take Back North Carolina Initiative, which was newly implemented by United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and State Bureau of Investigation conducted the criminal investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney Peggah B. Wilson is handling the prosecution of this case for the government.