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Alleged pot grower is Carroll's most wanted

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HILLSVILLE — Carroll authorities have named a suspect in a marijuana growing operation as their latest "most wanted," after finding pot, cash and guns during a May 13 search.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office put out an alert Monday to seek information from the public that would lead to Thomas James Read, 50, being located.

Read is wanted for manufacturing marijuana and possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs.

Deputies executed a search warrant at Read's trailer on Kinzer Road in the Gladesboro community, according to court records.

"Deputies had been at the residence earlier in the afternoon when they discovered what appeared to be an indoor marijuana grow operation," Sheriff J.B. Gardner said in a news release Monday.   

From that search, the deputies seized several jars and baggies containing marijuana, 23 marijuana plants in an outbuilding, seeds, several weapons and $2,700 in cash.

"The marijuana grow operation appeared to have been up and producing for several months," Gardner said. "Grow lights inside the building were on an automated, timed system and the building was climate controlled."

Read was not at home at the time of the search. Carroll authorities believe that Read is armed and trying to avoid arrest.

Deputies ask that if anyone has information about the whereabouts of Read, contact the sheriff's office at (276) 728-4146 or (276) 236-5119.