VA police officer charged with manufacturing marijuana

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SALISBURY — Rowan authorities say a W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center police officer was charged this week with manufacturing marijuana after Mocksville Police found a number of marijuana plants in a wooded area.

Thomas Daniel Gaskins, 33, of the 100 block of Lyn Road, Salisbury, was charged with manufacturing marijuana. He was arrested Tuesday by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

Mocksville Police charged Gaskins Monday. According to warrants, it is alleged that between June 10 and 13 he grew 11 marijuana plants using a town fire hydrant. He was issued a $10,000 secured bond.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit went to Gaskins’ Lyn Road home and met with him. He gave investigators consent to search the home and surrendered a small amount of marijuana.

During a search of his garage, investigators discovered evidence that a closet had been made into a grow room with a ventilation system. However, officials say no marijuana growing operation was found in this room and there was no evidence that it had been used previously.

Rowan officials will seek warrants on Gaskins for misdemeanor possession of marijuana for the marijuana found in his residence.

Gaskins was previously a deputy with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials at the Hefner VA released the following statement:

“The W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center takes these allegations very seriously. In order to maintain a safe environment for patients, staff and visitors, we maintain a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy for behavior that is disruptive, threatening or contrary to our core values.  At this time, we can confirm Thomas D. Gaskins is employed as a Police Officer at the VA Medical Center; however, he has been administratively moved to a function outside of the Police Service. As more information becomes available, we will take appropriate administrative and/or disciplinary actions.”