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Four NC men sentenced to jail time for harvesting stolen ginseng roots

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BRYSON CITY, N.C. (AP) -- Four men from western North Carolina
have been sentenced to jail time for illegally harvesting ginseng
roots from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said Thursday that the four cases
were unrelated.

Two of the men were from Cherokee, one from Canton and the other
from Bryson City. They were sentenced to terms ranging from 15 days
to 120 days in jail.

One of the four was found by park rangers not only with ginseng
roots, but with a list of places to harvest in the national park
and newspaper clippings about previous illegal harvesting
incidents.

Authorities seized 545 ginseng roots from the men and replanted
the viable roots. Tompkins says poaching is so widespread that the
park's plants can barely reproduce.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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