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NC deputies remove 358 animals from home where $500 million worth of poppy plants found

NEWTON, N.C. — North Carolina deputies removed more than 358 animals from a home where an opium poppy plant field was discovered earlier this week.

Catawba County Animal Services removed the animals from the home in Newton while executing a search warrant and looking for evidence of cockfighting, WSOC reports.

In addition to the live animals, officials also found 40 dead animals in cages and pens.

On Tuesday, narcotics officers pulled 2,000 poppy plants worth $500 million from the property.

Cody Xiong was arrested and charged with manufacture and trafficking by possession, WBTV reports.

During the initial search, officers said they discovered signs of cockfighting, including several injured birds.

“Lacerations and cuts on their backs, types of illnesses and things about their physical appearance that leads them to believe that these animals are being used for illegal activity,” said Catawba County Emergency Services official Karyn Yaussy.

The animals were taken to a secure location to be fed and hydrated.