DEA Seizes Poppyseed Crop from Franklin Co. Growers
Authorities continue to investigate if the poppy crop at a North Franklin County farm was used for illegal purposes.
The Drug Enforcement Agency and Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force officials cut the entire 20-acre crop of poppies at the farm on Elm Road. Authorities served a search warrant on the farm owned by Kenneth and Shanna French after learning of the crop, which was reportedly located out of plain sight on their property.
The French's say the poppyseed pods are sold as decorations, and they have numerous customers across the country, but the dried pods can also be used to make a highly-addictive and deadly tea that produces heroin-like effects.
Last October, the farm was also searched, but officials did not proceed with any charges.
If the crop was being used for illegal purposes, officials say it would perhaps be the first such illegal growing operation in the U.S., and the French's could face federal drug charges. Harvesting equipment knocked over the plants and federal agents cut the pods from the plants, and filled dozens of boxes.
(Image courtesy of KNDU-TV)