In what is probably the bust of the century, investigators accidentally stumbled upon an entire field of poppy plants masterfully hidden among the trees residing at North Carolina’s foothills. Now, police officers are working round the clock to unearth thousands of opium-filled plants that would have made it to the market if not for a routine “knock and talk.”
I guess you are here for the opium.
It was just another normal day in Catawba County, a small town with a bit over 1,400 residents. Local authorities received a mission to perform a warrantless “knock and talk,” for a purpose that remains undisclosed to the media.
When they reached the house of Cody Xiong, the man seemed at peace with his fate, convinced that the police were knocking on his door because they discovered the giant field of opium behind his home. As he greeted the investigators sitting on his porch, Xiong affirmed in a feeble voice:
“I guess you are here for the opium.”
Naturally, the investigators played it cool and asked Xiong to show them the opium. Their jaws dropped when “the opium” revealed to be a massive field riddled with Papaver somniferum, the main ingredient in heroin, morphine, and codeine.
The man was arrested for opium trafficking and manufacturing a Schedule II drug. He was later released on $45,000 bail and refused to talk to the media. However, he is still a key component of the bust of the century and will continue to collaborate with the authorities.
If not for Xiong’s bluntness, authorities would have never guessed that the man’s property was riddled with an entire acre of opioid plants. Although authorities didn’t manage to unearth all the plants, the Sherriff’s department believes there are about 2,000 pounds of flowers in the area. Enough to create about half a billion worth of heroin or other illegal opioids.
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