VIDEO: NC Officers Discover Massive Opium Poppy Growing Operation

Undercover officers executed a search warrant Tuesday morning at a large poppy plant grow operation in Catawba County, NC.

Poppy plants are used to create opium, which is used to make drugs such as heroin. It is illegal to grow poppy plants in North Carolina.

Deputies estimate that the plants found near Claremont are worth a half-billion dollars. They told WSOC TV that some of the plants had been cut to allow collection of the opium resin.

Deputies arrested Cody Xiong and charged him with manufacturing and trafficking by possession.