A poppy field is pictured here, similar to a grow operation authorities say they discovered during an undercover operation in Catawba County in western North Carolina. The poppies, which are used to make heroin and other drugs, had an estimated value of $50 million. 
Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images
Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

$500 million worth of poppy plants seized in NC drug raid

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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 $500 million.

Almost a dozen law enforcement officers, wearing protective clothing, converged on the property to remove hundreds of plants.

Authorities are questioning two men in connection with the drug bust.

Deputies said there has never been a poppy operation bust in Catawba County before.