Your right. They had it put to them a little earlier this year.
I copied this from a local article in that area.
A Wisconsin-Minnesota corporation convicted in August of violating the anti-poaching U.S. Lacey Act today was ordered to pay $100,000 in penalties and to pull out of the wild ginseng trade for two years in a landmark case a Wisconsin conservation warden calls a victory for the public’s natural resources and private landowners – and a deterrent for anyone thinking of violating the law.
Wis. Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Ed McCann of La Crosse says the case against Wiebke Produce Inc. – also known as the Wiebke Fur & Trading Company with stores in La Crosse, Wis., and Eitzen, Minn. – demonstrates Wisconsin’s commitment to its valuable wild ginseng and to stopping poachers who trespass to steal from private properties.
McCann says this case is about a business which knowingly purchased wild ginseng from individuals the business knew needed to have harvest licenses prior to sale – and falsifying official documents to transport that product across state lines which is the violation of federal law. “It would be like the deer hunter who doesn’t have a license but shoots the deer anyway. Then, the hunter brings the deer to the registration station and buys the hunting license from the registration station after the harvest,” he says.
“This case shows just how serious Wisconsin is about protecting this valuable natural resource from poachers and our landowners from poachers who trespass to take the plant,” McCann says. “To the best of my knowledge, this is the largest corporation case involving wild ginseng in Wisconsin to date. And, it has fueled multiple investigations in Wisconsin and other states.”
Today’s sentencing against Wiebke Produce Inc. was handed down by U. S. Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison.
Under Crocker’s ruling, Wiebke must pay $50,000 in fines for the violation of the U.S. Lacey Act – the nation’s law to combat illegal trafficking of wildlife, fish and plants. The corporation also was ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution for loss of the natural resource to the state of Wisconsin. McCann says the payment will be used for the state’s ginseng enforcement and protection program. The corporation also must refrain from any involvement in the ginseng industry for two years – which is until Aug. 6, 2015.
McCann says he believes Wiebke is the only operation which is both a vendor for ginseng licenses and is a wild ginseng buyer. And it is this double role which is what started the investigation.
“The investigation shows that Wiebke was knowingly purchasing wild ginseng from individuals who did not have a wild ginseng harvest license prior to harvesting the ginseng, as required by law,” McCann says. “In one case, one seller said he used the money he received from the sale of his wild ginseng to Wiebke to buy the wild ginseng license from Wiebke – all in the same transaction.”
McCann says then Wiebke “knowingly falsified the records in order to export this ginseng out of the state of Wisconsin, and in some cases, out of the country. And that is how they violated the Lacey Act – by knowingly breaking the state law, and crossing the state lines with falsified records.”
The DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the state’s management plan governing how Wisconsin exports its wild ginseng internationally – as authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Flora and Fauna. Wild ginseng is classified as internationally regulated plant under CITES.
McCann in 2011 started looking at the Wiebke wild ginseng records, as required under the law, and noticed a pattern involving the timing of license sales and ginseng purchases of the plant which must be harvested from private lands only and with the owner’s permission.
The investigation involved records from 2009-2011, numerous interviews, search warrants and the seizure of a ginseng export shipment from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago .
“All of the ginseng harvested in Wisconsin was shipped to Minnesota for export,” McCann says. “In one case, cultivated ginseng was purchased and then was labeled as wild and comingled with wild for transportation out of the state of Wisconsin.”
McCann credits the many hours and expertise teamwork from the DNR conservation warden team based out of LaCrosse, local law enforcement, the Minnesota DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Gary Jagodzinski for the successful case.
“This involved a lot of work to confirm the company knew the law and knowingly violated the law,” McCann says. “We didn’t simply target a business. The investigation involved talking with individuals who were suspected of wild ginseng violations, and those interviews led to this business. These individuals were not law-abiding landowners looking to legally sell wild ginseng off their properties. These were violators, some with lengthy criminal records, and not landowners.”
McCann says the goal was to keep the business operating, but to hold it responsible for its ginseng violations. This sentence allows that to happen.
“Wisconsin is serious about protecting its wild ginseng,” McCann says. “And the goal is to level the playing field for law abiding businesses and to cause anyone else contemplating wild ginseng fraud to think twice when they hear about the $100,000 in penalties and two-year suspension from the wild ginseng trade.”
Your right. They had it put to them a little earlier this year.
Yep, I'll say it openly now that's it out... too bad some jail time wasn't handed down to Jason and the boys. I hope 100K fine is enough to put them out of business.
There's other dealers around that buy, I have a dealer license myself, but mainly so that I can sell out of state. If I had the backend capital I would be buying roots.
I would recommend calling Cumberlands in Owatonna for root prices. I would also recommend ceasing all business dealings with Weibke if you buy supplies there, time to show these lawbreakers they are neither wanted or needed.
Regarding Wiebke Fur, I sold to them a few years and thought they treated me very fair. Better than some buyer in Wausau. If they knowingly broke laws, they will have to deal with that and I think they are. As far as the Wi DNR looking out for landowners regarding Ginseng, I take that with a grain of salt. Watch where the $100,000 goes, salary and administrative is where I'm willing to bet. Don't wait for any program that actually helps problems in the woods.
As far as the Wi DNR looking out for landowners regarding Ginseng, I take that with a grain of salt. Watch where the $100,000 goes, salary and administrative is where I'm willing to bet. Don't wait for any program that actually helps problems in the woods.
You are probably 100% correct! At least 40% to 50% of each fine should go to restoration of Ginseng from where it was taken illegally. Get the information (property addresses and owner's addresses) from the poachers, purchase seeds and as a penance, have the poachers plants seeds on the properties from which they stole Wild Ginseng roots. If some property addresses and owner's addresses can not be determined, plant the remaining seeds on State owned or Timber Company owned land (with their permission of course), so that there will be a viable Ginseng population within the next 10 to 20 years. Besides doing penance, the poachers should be banned from digging and selling Ginseng roots for up to 10 years and if caught doing so as well as anyone who is aiding them in selling the Ginseng roots, they all should be fined and incarcerated.
frank that is a wonderful idea....every yr I buy 2 to 4 pounds of seed with some of my proceeds from shangin and heavily populate areas that have been poached. with great stewardship our goal should always be to plant back for further generations...less and less is coming out of the woods every yr. well at least all the nice 4 and 5 prongers are. they are becoming increasingly rare in ny and vermont
Every year and especially so this year (due to all of media publicity about Ginseng), there have been many poachers arrested and mainly fined. Very few of these criminals ever serve time or have to do any type of penance. Those fines go to pay for Court costs and the rest usually ends up in the State Coffers and/or the arresting Agency's Coffers. I understand the need to help Game Wardens do their job by supplying them with what they need to do it by using the funds from those fines and also, maybe giving these folks a bonus every now and then for a job well done! However, surely they could put 30%, 40% or even 50% of the money generated from fines into restoration of what was poached and that is Ginseng. As of September 28th, the Game Wardens had arrested 4 persons so far for poaching Wild Ginseng from the North Cherokee National Forest that lies closest to me. Purchase seeds from some of the proceeds from fines and have these folks do penance by planting seeds in the same areas from which they took the poached roots. The illegal roots could also be sold to generate extra funds for doing so as well as provide needed funds to the arresting Agencies' Coffers.
Also, I would bet that the poachers that provided testimony in the case against Wiebke Fur were given full immunity from prosecution and even the one's that were caught and did not provide testimony in the case, were probably only given a slap on the wrist. The criminals should never be given full immunity or just a slap on the wrist! They should have to do penance in some way to make up for their' crimes and I believe restoring Ginseng from where it was stolen as well as being banned from digging and selling Ginseng for up to 10 years, are good punishments.
Hello fello shangers I realy like this site wish that I could figure out how to post pics kind of computor illiterate lol but any ways I wanted to let you know me and a friend got 875.00 a pound today I had six and a half and he had three not to bad wondering now though if we should have waited a bit longer. Hopefuly i can get some pics on here soon. mn digger