Tags: opium | north carolina | 500 million

Cops Stumble on Field Containing $500 Million Worth of Opium in North Carolina

Image: Cops Stumble on Field Containing $500 Million Worth of Opium in North Carolina
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By    |   Friday, 26 May 2017 11:11 AM

An estimated $500 million worth of poppy plants used to make opium were found in a North Carolina field when investigators stumbled upon the location Tuesday.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid told the Hickory Daily Record that its investigators were on the trail of another case when they came to home near Claremont, North Carolina, about 40 miles north of Charlotte.

"One of our narcotics investigators came to the house looking for something else," Reid told the newspaper. "When he knocked on the door, the guys said, 'I guess you're here about the opium.'"

The poppy plants, which can be processed to make opium, were found growing in a row behind a home on Poultry Road, Reid said.

NBC News identified the man arrested at the home as Cody Xiong, 37. Xiong was charged with manufacturing a Schedule II drug and trafficking in opium, both felonies, authorities told the network.

Xiong later posted bail for $45,000 and was released, stated NBC News.

"All total investigators removed and seized over 2,000 pounds of opium poppy plants found growing on the property along with multiple firearms and ammunition," the Catawba County Sheriff's Office said in a statement to NBC News.

Catawba County Sheriff Capt. Jason Reid told WBTV that most time consuming aspect of the investigation was collecting all of the poppy plants in the field, which authorities say was just the second poppy field found in the U.S. this year.

"We've been out here for about an hour pulling plants, and we've not made a dent in it yet," Captain Reid said Tuesday. "The plants are being harvested here, and sent somewhere else where the opium is being produced from the plant."

Opium is a highly addictive narcotic drug acquired in from the opium poppy seed pod, which contains varying amounts of alkaloids such as morphine, codeine, thebaine, and papaverine, according to the website Drugs.com.

Heroin is derived from the morphine alkaloid found in opium and is roughly two to three times more potent.

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An estimated $500 million worth of poppy plants used to make opium were found in a North Carolina field when investigators stumbled upon the location Tuesday.
opium, north carolina, 500 million
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2017-11-26
Friday, 26 May 2017 11:11 AM
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