Indiana Conservation Officers and the Ripley County Sheriff Department conducted an investigation for the illegal harvesting and theft of ginseng today.
Joseph Palmer, 62, Sunman, was observed trespassing by a property owner early this morning. The property owner watched Palmer as he would stop and dig up what he believed to be ginseng and place in a small bag. The property owner than contacted the Ripley County Sheriff Department who then contacted the Indiana Conservation Officers for assistance.
The investigation concluded with Palmer being charged with harvesting ginseng in a closed season, possession of ginseng in a closed season and harvesting ginseng without consent of the landowner all 3 Misdemeanor offenses. Palmer was also charged with theft a Misdemeanor offense but could be a Felony offense depending the total weight of the ginseng.
Palmers’ vehicle was towed due to false and fictitious registration.
Ginseng may be lawfully harvested in Indiana starting on September 1 of each year through December 31. Ginseng must be sold prior to the beginning of the following year. Indiana Conservation Officers encourage citizens to contact 1-800-TIP-IDNR, ICO Central Dispatch at 812-873-9536 or your local Sheriff Department to report any ginseng violations.