Sheriff: $500M in poppy plants seized in North Carolina

Ingredients in poppy plants are a key in the creation of drugs like opium, heroin and others.

A suspect charged with multiple drug offenses has reportedly been arrested in connection to a poppy field discovered in Catawba County.

A poppy field is pictured here, similar to a grow operation authorities say they discovered during an undercover operation in Catawba County in western North Carolina. Reid says a person who answered the door said, "I guess you're here about the opium". 37-year-old Cody Xiong of C Avenue in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (May 23) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

Detectives said they found the plants spread across a half-acre adjacent to a Claremont home on Tuesday morning.

"The plants are being harvested here, and sent somewhere else where the opium is being produced from the plant", Capt. Jason Reid said told WBTV.

Captain Reid believed the plants were grown on the property and transported to another location where the plants' opium was extracted.

Undercover police raided a poppy farm the size of a football field and seized enough plants to make $500 million worth of heroin. The plants are expected to be destroyed.

  • Salvatore Jensen