The co-owners of two Gaston County businesses were arrested on marijuana trafficking charges this week.
John Ken Hawkins III, 45, and Letha Barker Shaw, 69, both of Gastonia, were arrested at one of their businesses on Thursday, Johnny’s E Cigs on Gastonia Highway in Bessemer City. They also own Shaw’s Pipe World on Union Road in Gastonia, police said.
Federal, state and local authorities executed several search warrants in Gaston County on Thursday and seized about 13 pounds of marijuana, numerous firearms and cash, Bessemer City Police Chief Thomas Ellis Jr. said Friday. The investigation followed numerous complaints from residents, Ellis said.
Hawkins and Shaw were in the Gaston County Jail on Friday on $250,000 bails.
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Serving the search warrants were officers and agents from the Bessemer City, Gaston County and Mount Holly police departments, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, State Bureau of Investigation, N.C. Department of Revenue and Homeland Security Investigations.