Raid cuts down alleged illegal opium poppies

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PASCO — The Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force and agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration raided a Franklin County poppy farm Wednesday and cut down plants they say are illegal opium poppies.

Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim called the cultivation of the flowers "brazen."

The Tri-City Herald reported Ken and Shanna French bought the property two years ago and started a business called Poppydog Farms and Dried Poppies Direct, selling seed pods for decorative purposes.

The Frenches were arrested in October and accused of selling controlled substances. They were not charged but federal prosecutors began seeking the forfeiture of their property.

A lawyer for the Frenches said in January they had no idea they were selling anything illegal.