WV DNR News Release
4

Joe Manchin III, Governor
Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release : September 5, 2008

 Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-2003 ext. 365 hoy.r.murphy@wv.gov
Contact:

Capt. Kaven Ransom, DNR District 4 Law Enforcement (304) 256-6945 law@wvdnr.gov  


Conservation Officers Charge Five Wyoming and Summers County Residents with Illegal Harvesting and Selling of Ginseng

            Two men and one woman have been arrested on 192 charges of violations dealing with illegal harvesting and sale of ginseng and two Summers County individuals have been arrested on similar charges, according to Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section District 4 Capt. Kaven Ransom.

            DNR conservation officers involved in the investigation and arrests were Chris Lester, Richie Miller, Bob Cales, Andrew Damewood, and sergeants J.C. Armstead and Mickey Sylvester.

            DNR conservation officers concluded their lengthy investigation August 29 after being tipped off that ginseng was being sold on Ebay. The officers gained information from the Ebay related investigation which led to the arrest of an illegal ginseng dealer by Officers Lester and Wood. More than 50 pounds of ginseng was confiscated as a result of this investigation. Information provided to the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department led to the search of another house and the recovery of another eight pounds of ginseng, along with stolen property and illegal drugs.

             In a separate case on August 30, Conservation Officer Cales arrested two individuals from Summers County for digging ginseng out of season, and he seized 126 roots valued at more than $500.

            Names in these cases are not being released at this time as the investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected to be filed in the future.

           The Division of Natural Resources and the Division of Forestry have established a season for ginseng digging, which started September 1 and ends November 30, allowing the plants to reproduce and establish a new crop each year. Ginseng is prized in some communities for its medicinal properties.         

**DNR**

Wyoming County Conservation Officer Chris Lester shows illegally harvested ginseng confiscated in Wyoming County.
Wyoming County Conservation Officer Chris Lester shows illegally harvested ginseng confiscated in Wyoming County.