Deputy arrested

Published 10:23 am Monday, December 11, 2017

GATESVILLE – For the second time this year, a Gates County Sheriff’s Deputy has turned in his badge after being arrested for alleged criminal activity.

On Wednesday, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation arrested Sgt. Brandon Hawks, charging him with two counts of embezzlement of property by a public officer and one count of larceny of a firearm.

He was released from jail after posting a $35,000 bond.

One day later, Hawks was terminated from his position as a Sheriff’s Deputy, according to Gates County Manager Natalie Rountree.

Rountree confirmed that Hawks, age 33, had been employed as a Gates County Sheriff’s Deputy since 2009. He had previously worked with the county as a Deputy from 2006 to 2008 before being rehired in 2009.

The charges lodged against Hawks comes on the heels of a request made to the NC SBI this summer by District Attorney Andy Womble to look into alleged corruption into the Gates County Sheriff’s Office.

The SBI said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting them with that probe, and that the investigation is ongoing.

Prior to that request, Gates County Sheriff’s Deputy Patrick Batts was arrested on May 26 of this year for the alleged sexual assault of a female prisoner in his custody.

The NC SBI also made that arrest, charging him with sexual contact by a custodian, obstruction of justice, and first degree sexual offense.

Batts, 27, had worked with the Gates County Sheriff’s Office for only six months.

According to information shared by the SBI, Batts was transporting a female prisoner from Gates County to the Hertford County Jail late in the evening of May 24. In the early morning hours of Thursday, May 25, he reported that the prisoner had escaped.

Surveillance video shows that the deputy let the prisoner get out of the car and leave.

Agents arrested Batts that night for actions that allegedly occurred while en route to the jail in Winton.

Upon a follow-up inquiry by this newspaper, it was learned that the prisoner was located after being freely released by Batts. The female prisoner was facing non-violent offense charges in both Gates and Hertford counties at that time.

Batts was also fired from his job as a Gates County Sheriff’s Deputy.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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