Gingseng dealer issues public letter of apology
From the Ashvegas blog:
The Asheville Citizen-Times on Sunday published an unusual letter of apology written by a man who pleaded guilty last month in federal court to misdemeanor charges related to the unlawful sale and transport of ginseng.
The charges, and the unusual public apology, go to show just how cherished, valued and threatened ginseng in Western North Carolina is today. Known far and wide for its medicinal uses, the root is in constant demand. But the plant is protected in North Carolina because so many people have gone out into the forests — often its national forests — to dig it up and sell it.
Howard William Ledford, in a letter dated Dec. 20, accepted responsibility for his actions and, as part of his plea agreement, publicly acknowledged "my illegal conduct in a local newspaper." Ledford said he also expected to have to pay a $50,000 fine. He'll be sentenced Jan. 12.