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Indiana State Police-Bloomington District 33-Bloomington, IN
Wednesday May 17th, 2017 :: 02:49 p.m. EDT


Traffic Stop Leads to Illegal Ginseng Possession Charges

Bloomfield (Greene County) – Last Monday evening just before 6:00 o’clock, Trooper Caleb Garvin conducted a traffic stop at US 231 and Lamplite Lane about 4 miles south of Bloomfield. During conversation with the occupants of the vehicle, Trooper Garvin observed criminal indicators and consent to search the vehicle was obtained. 

Trooper Garvin then observed a freshly dug ginseng root sitting in plain view in the back seat.  Trooper Garvin then located three more freshly dug ginseng roots on the passenger’s person that had been sitting closest to the root. That passenger, Caleb Hunter Truelove 20, was cited and summonsed to Greene County Court for Illegal Possession of Ginseng, a Class B Misdemeanor.

The Indiana State Police wishes to remind citizens about safe harvesting practices.  Without following the laws and limits set forth, there could be a significant loss to our natural resources around the state. 

Assisting Trooper Garvin on the traffic stop was Deputy Anthony Pope with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.



Know the Law – From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources…
  1. It is illegal to harvest wild ginseng out of season. A Class A misdemeanor.
  2. To harvest legally, a ginseng plant must have: at least 3 prongs and a flowering or fruiting stalk, or at least 4 internodes on the rhizome. To harvest plants not meeting these criteria is a Class B infraction.
  3. It is required that mature fruits and any seeds on the harvested ginseng be planted in the vicinity where the plant was dug and in a manner that encourages germination.
  4. It is required that the entire stalk and leaves be retained with the plant until it is taken to the harvester’s residence or place of business, unless the root has at least 4 internodes on the rhizome.
  5. It is illegal to sell or remove mature fruits and seeds from the vicinity where the ginseng was taken.
  6. It is illegal to buy, sell, or possess any ginseng out of season without written authorization from the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Law Enforcement. A Class B misdemeanor.
  7. It is illegal to buy uncertified ginseng for resale without an Indiana Ginseng Dealer’s License. A Class B misdemeanor.
  8. Only certified ginseng can be sold to a buyer in another state. To export uncertified ginseng is a Class A misdemeanor.
  9. Harvest ginseng only where it is permitted—digging on State property is not allowed; digging on private property without permission is theft; digging on other properties may require a permit.
  10. Anyone violating these rules will be prosecuted.

Indiana State Police-Bloomington District 33-Bloomington, IN
1500 North Packing House Road
Bloomington, IN 47404

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 812-332-4411

Curt Durnil
Public Information Office

US-231 & E Lamplite Ln
Bloomfield, IN 47424

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