Traffic Stop Leads To Illegal Ginseng Possession Charges

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Following a citation issued in Greene County for the illegal possession of ginseng, ISP and DNR officials would like to remind the public of the laws surrounding ginseng harvest.

Last Monday evening just before 6:00 o’clock, Trooper Caleb Garvin conducted a traffic stop at US 231 and Lamplite Lane about 4 miles south of Bloomfield. During conversation with the occupants of the vehicle, Trooper Garvin observed criminal indicators and consent to search the vehicle was obtained.

Trooper Garvin then observed a freshly dug ginseng root sitting in plain view in the back seat. Garvin then located three more freshly dug ginseng roots on the passenger’s person that had been sitting closest to the root. That passenger, Caleb Hunter Truelove, 20, was cited and summoned to Greene County Court for Illegal Possession of Ginseng, a Class B Misdemeanor.

Assisting Trooper Garvin on the traffic stop was Deputy Anthony Pope with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

ISP states that they want to remind citizens about safe harvesting practices in order to prevent significant loss to natural resources around the state.

Here is the law regarding ginseng harvest from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

1. It is illegal to harvest wild ginseng out of season. A Class A misdemeanor.

2. To harvest legally, a ginseng plant must have: at least 3 prongs and a flowering or fruiting stalk, or at least 4 internodes on the rhizome. To harvest plants not meeting these criteria is a Class B infraction.

3. It is required that mature fruits and any seeds on the harvested ginseng be planted in the vicinity where the plant was dug and in a manner that encourages germination.

4. It is required that the entire stalk and leaves be retained with the plant until it is taken to the harvester’s residence or place of business, unless the root has at least 4 internodes on the rhizome.

5. It is illegal to buy, sell or possess any ginseng out of season without written authorization from the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Law Enforcement. A Class B misdemeanor.

6. It is illegal to buy, sell or possess any ginseng out of season without written authorization from the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Law Enforcement. A Class B misdemeanor.

7. It is illegal to buy, sell or possess any ginseng out of season without written authorization from the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Law Enforcement. A Class B misdemeanor.

8. Only certified ginseng can be sold to a buyer in another state. To export uncertified ginseng is a Class A misdemeanor.

9. Harvest ginseng only where it is permitted-digging on State property is not allowed; digging on private property without permission is theft; digging on other properties may require a permit.

10. Anyone violating these rules will be prosecuted.

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