Couple Pleads Guilty to Illegally Trafficking Plants

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Theodosia, Missouri, couple plead guilty Friday to illegally trafficking in plants. More specifically, wild American ginseng.

Kermit J. Schofield, 76, and Sandy Schofield, 73, were charged with trafficking in wild American ginseng plants from Arkansas to Missouri, violating state and federal laws. 

Their home business, Schofield Roots and Herbs, bought and sold wild American ginseng, blood root, Echinacea, Virginia snake root and other roots and herbs, according to a news release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney. 

They bought about 115 pounds of ginseng in Arkansas several times between June 25, 2013, and Aug. 15, 2015. According to the news release, the purchases happened outside the allowed time frame to do so in Missouri. 

The couple also admitted to falsifying records related to the purchases, according to the release. 

The Lacey Act makes it illegal to "import, export, sell, receive, acquire or purchase in interstate commerce any plant that is taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of state law.," according to the release. 

The Schofields could be sentenced to up to five years in prison without parole. 

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