COSHOCTON — Two individuals have been ordered to pay restitution to four Coshocton County property owners after illegally harvesting ginseng from their properties last June, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The unidentified suspects were also ordered to pay undisclosed fines and court costs. Their names were not released by ODNR following their convictions in a Coshocton County court.
In September 2018, Wildlife Officer Jerrod Allison received several complaints about someone digging ginseng illegally.
With help from the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office, Allison found a vehicle parked along a township road in the area of the complaints and he set up surveillance. Two suspects soon exited the woods and went to the vehicle.
Officer Allison and a sheriff’s deputy contacted the individuals and found they had been digging ginseng. Neither individual could provide permission to access the property. The ginseng they harvested was seized, and each individual was issued a summons for digging ginseng without permission.
Officers later determined that both individuals had been digging ginseng on other properties in the area without permission.
A search warrant was obtained for the residence, where officers discovered seven pounds of dried ginseng, ginseng digging tools, and ginseng berries. The ginseng had been harvested in June, before the legal season opened on Sept. 1.
Both individuals were charged with several counts of digging ginseng during a closed season, digging without permission, and failure to keep accurate records. The sheriff’s office issued additional charges for criminal trespass and theft.
Both suspects appeared in Coshocton Municipal Court and were found guilty.