Missouri couple sentenced for illegal ginseng operation

Missouri couple sentenced for illegal ginseng operation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri couple who illegally bought ginseng from Arkansas has been sentenced to a year of probation.

The Springfield News-Leader reports 77-year-old Kermit Schofield and his wife, 73-year-old Sandy Schofield were sentenced Tuesday in a courtroom packed with supporters from their hometown.

The couple farms and sells herbs in Theodosia, a town of about 250 people near the Missouri-Arkansas border.

Federal prosecutors say that between June 2013 and August 2015 the Schofields illegally bought more than 100 pounds of ginseng in Arkansas. Prosecutors say the couple bought the ginseng outside the permitted time frame for purchasing ginseng in Missouri, and they knew it was illegal transport ginseng out of Arkansas without a state certification.

As part of the sentence, the Schofields agreed to pay $65,000 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.

Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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