Officers searching for alleged pot grower

Staff Report

June 21, 2014

Local law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for a Surry County man wanted for using his grandmother’s property to grow marijuana.

Sheriff Graham Atkinson said county narcotics officers received information that William Brian “Willie” Hawks, 43, allegedly was growing marijuana at his grandmother’s home on North Franklin Road.

A subsequent search warrant served at the residence resulted in the discovery of 17 marijuana plants, according to Atkinson.

The sheriff said it appears Hawks had attempted to conceal the plants from view by planting them among existing plants in his grandmother’s yard.

“He had placed the plants around the yard and in the garden,” said Atkinson. “He’d made an effort to blend them in with other plantings so they were less noticeable, but it was apparent that he was the one responsible for them.”

According to the sheriff, Hawks’ grandmother had no idea the illicit plants were being grown on her property.

“His grandmother thought he was coming over to help with her yard work,” he said.

Hawks, who has no fixed address, has been on the run since the warrant was served, Atkinson said, and officers suspect he may be in Virginia.

Surry County deputies have obtained warrants charging him with manufacture of marijuana, maintaining a drug dwelling and possession of drug paraphernalia.