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'I guess you’re here about the opium': Sheriffs discover poppy field

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office seized an entire field of poppy plants Tuesday, with an estimated value of $500 million. Authorities admit...
Rating:
3/5,
  1. perro-salchicha614
    WORLD_NEWS_MEXICO-HEROIN_3_MCT.jpg TNS fileThe Catawba County Sheriff’s Office seized an entire field of poppy plants Tuesday, with an estimated value of $500 million.

    Authorities admit that’s a rough estimate on the value, because the plants still need to be weighed.

    The plants are used in the manufacturing of opium, and growing them is far from legal. The field was about an acre located near Claremont, a Catawba County, NC town about 40 miles north of Charlotte. It has a population of about 1,300 people.

    “This is the second one in the nation,” Sheriff Coy Reid told the Hickory Daily Record. “One of our narcotics investigators came to the house looking for something else. When he knocked on the door, the guys said, ‘I guess you’re here about the opium.’ ”

    The plants were in rows, like corn, in a field behind a home on Poultry Road.

    One person in a nearby home was charged in connection with the field, the Daily Record reported.

    Catawba County Sheriff's Office deputies got a tip last week and were able to obtain a search warrant, reported WBTV, the Observer’s news partner. The station identified Cody Xiong as the suspect arrested and charged with manufacture and trafficking by possession.

    The sheriff said the only other opium poppy plant field has found in the United States this year was in California.

    Plants were being pulled up Tuesday, and loaded into trailers.

    Officials do not believe the plants were being made into opium on the property.

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

    Original Source

    Written by: Mark Price, May 24, 2017, 'I guess you’re here about the opium': Sheriffs discover poppy field, Miami Herald

Recent User Reviews

  1. ladywolf2012
    "Interesting but wanted more."
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jun 14, 2017
    Interesting as far as it goes, but it is a very short article. Funny line..."Here about the opium..." Guess there have only been two poppy fields discovered in the whole country? That's hard to believe.

Comments

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

    This does not make sense, if my understanding is correct. I thought it was a process of lancing the flower bulb and collecting the sap that flows from it.?
    1. aemetha
      Depends on the level of sophistication. That's how they do it in Afghanistan with cheap labour intensive methods. Commercially they chemically extract it from crushed poppies.
  2. Gradois
    $500 million for an acre of poppies?

    Let say you manage to cram one poppy per square foot of that acre. That would mean every poppy was worth about $11,500. Let's say you get 100mg of opium from each poppy. If that is the case, then you would have to sell the opium for $115,000 per gram if you were to make $500 million per acre.

    $500 thousand sound more correct,
  3. Eggman the Pirate
    The slicing & collecting method is extremely labor intensive, fine if you have an army of peasants to do it, but the pharmaceutical companies have a better way.. First, let the plants finish all the way out so the seeds are viable, cut the whole plant down, crack open the pods and collect the seeds, then grind the plant matter down into a fine sawdust-looking state known as "poppy straw". This can then be extracted with water & heat, or alcohol, methanol, (not sure what other solvents work) and this becomes "concentrate of poppy straw" ("CPS" for short).. From there they dissolve this solid in water and use calcium hydroxide to separate the morphine, (converting it into morphine base that can be strained out of the solution). From there it is only one more step, Acetic Anhydride, to make Diacetylmorphine.. The pharmaceutical companies don't do that, of course, they use sulfur as a preservative and make Morphine Sulphate. All the rest of the opioids, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, darvon, butalbital, etc. are made from the codeine that is the by-product of morphine production. Not sure how they get the codeine out of the solution. It took me years of curious investigation to figure this out, they really don't want the public to know how easy it is!!
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