CLAREMONT, N. C. – A field of poppy plants that can be used to opium was discovered in North Carolina and had an estimated value of $500 million, a sheriff says.
Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said the opium poppy plant field found in the US was this year in California.
The acres (almost half a hectare) of poppy plants were in rows, in a similar way, corn would be planted, in a field behind a house.
“One of our narcotics investigators came to the house looking for something else. When he knocked on the door, the boys said, ” I guess you’re here about the opium,'” the sheriff said.
The sheriff’s office says Cody Xiong was arrested and charged with manufacture of and trafficking by possession. It is unclear whether he has a lawyer.
Officials do not think that opium is made on the property.
“The plants are harvested here and shipped somewhere else where the opium is extracted from the plant,” Capt. Jason Reid said told WBTV.