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CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- Two western North Carolina men have been sentenced after they were caught with three pounds of ginseng. The Charlotte Observer reported that the sentences were announced Thursday.

Daniel Mizell, 26 of Green Mountain was sentenced to 30 days in jail for engaging in business on the Blue Ridge Parkway and entering a closed area on the parkway during the government shutdown last October. Derek Vann Whitson, 33 of Mars Hill was sentenced earlier to 90 days in jail for conspiring to harvest ginseng.

Ginseng has long been used for a host of ailments by people who dry the root and chew it or use it to make tea. People must obtain permits to collect ginseng in national forests.

No ginseng permits are issued on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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