A Winder police officer was following up on information obtained from witnesses to a hit and run accident when he stumbled upon a large opium poppy grow in a residential area Saturday afternoon.
The accident occurred in the parking lot of in Winder at approximately 3:30 p.m. Witnesses to the accident gave police a license plate number, along with a physical description of the vehicle that left the scene.
Officers responded to a residence on Northcrest Drive, also in Winder, based on the information from the vehicle license plate. They were able to make contact with a homeowner at the residence, who was questioned about the accident. The homeowner lead officers to the rear of the property where a vehicle matching the description given by witnesses was found parked behind the home.
While at the rear of the home, Winder Police Officer Dustin Kaster noticed a very large quantity of an unusual plant growing all over the back of the property. Officer Kaster suspected the plant to be opium but, according to a news release, wasn’t sure. The officer was able to perform some brief research online while at the scene and was ultimately able to identify the plant as an opium species.
Several residents of the home are being detained by the while the plants are being seized. The Barrow County Crime Task Force has also been called in to assist the police department with the investigation. Criminal charges are pending until further information can be collected.
Police have been told at this point by some of the residents that the plants were obtained from overseas, possibly from Asia, and were being used by an elderly person in the home for medicinal purposes. Approximately 900 plants have been seized from the home at this time.
More information will be released as soon as it becomes available.