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Press Release

Wise, Virginia Man Sentenced for Taking Ginseng from National Forest

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – A Wise man, who illegally removed Ginseng plants from the National Forest, was sentenced today in the United States District Court, Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.


Mark Evan Buchanan, 47, of Wise, Va., was sentenced today to two years of probation. He was ordered to pay $3,690 in restitution. Buchanan previously pled guilty to one count of attempting to transport, sell, receive or acquire plants in interstate commerce knowing that said plants were taken in an unlawful manner.


According to evidence presented in court by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Carnell, Buchanan possessed 246 wild Ginseng roots from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forrest knowing that it was illegal to take, possess, acquire and transport wild Ginseng from the National Forest. Buchanan intended to sell the Ginseng roots.


The investigation of the case was conducted by Special Agent James Willett of the U.S. Forest Service. Assistant United States Attorney Special Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Carnell prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated May 25, 2017