Wise man who stole ginseng roots given probation

PHOTO CREDIT: U.S. Forest Service

A Wise, Virginia man who admitted taking more than 200 ginseng roots from U.S. National Forest land will not have to serve jail time.

A federal judge in Abingdon sentenced 47-year-old Mark Buchanan to two years of probation. He is not allowed on any U.S. National Forest land while on probation.

Buchanan must pay over $3,500 in restitution to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests as part of a plea agreement made in March.

Buchanan was arrested in February and authorities said he knew what he was doing was illegal because he had years of repeated contact and warnings from state and federal authorities.