Lenoir Co. Sheriff: Poppy Plants An Unusual Find, Results In Drug Arrest

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It's not a common find for law enforcement in the east, but Lenoir County deputies confiscated 19 poppy plants from Kristofer Tyson's home Wednesday.

Officials say not all poppy plants can be used to make illegal drugs, but these particular plants showed evidence they were being manipulated to produce illegal substances.

"A person who wants to extract the opium or the sap that comes from these bulbs will lance the covering or the bulb itself, and it will leak out this resin and that particularly resin can be converted to become morphine or heroin," said Lenoir County Sheriff Chris Hill.

Experts say there are hundreds of types of poppy plants and not all can be used to make heroin. Deputies say Kristofer Tyson was also in possession of two pipe bombs, 22 marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia.

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Lenoir County officials say they detonated several pipe bombs found Wednesday afternoon and took a suspect into custody.

It happened in a field off Dawson Station Road.

The Lenoir County Sheriff's Office, SBI, and ATF were among the agencies on scene.

Lenoir County Sheriff Chris Hill told us during a live interview at 5:00 p.m. that it all started as a metal theft investigation. From there they discovered marijuana, poppy plants, which are illegal to possess in NC & can be used to create heroin, and also came two destructive devices.

Those devices were detonated, and the sheriff's office says the SBI determined there were no explosive elements in either one.

Hill identifies the suspect in custody as Kristofer Adam Tyson who faces multiple drug charges so far.

The sheriff also says there is evidence of a past possible meth cooking operation.

Evidence seized from the property included 22 marijuana plants, 19 poppy plants, drug paraphernalia along with other evidence.

Tyson is charged with Maintaining a Dwelling, Manufacturing Schedule II and Manufacturing Schedule VI.

Tyson is in the Lenoir County Sheriff's Detention Center under a $35,000.00 secured bond. He is scheduled to make a first appearance Thursday.

The investigation is still underway and further charges are pending.

Online records also show a 25-year-old Kristofer Adam Tyson from Lenoir County was convicted one month ago for DWI and given probation.