Ginseng defendant asks to plead guilty to misdemeanor

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — A Martin County man accused of conspiring with his father to buy and sell illegally harvested ginseng is now asking to plead guilty to a misdemeanor.

Jonathon Jude has filed a motion to be rearraigned on a charge of failing record the purchase of six ounces of dried ginseng.

Jude and his father, Sherman Jude, are accused of conspiring to buy wild ginseng out of season and hide those purchases through falsified records. That conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

If allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, Jonathon Jude would face no more than one year in jail.

The Judes face an Oct. 26 deadline to reach a deal with prosecutors.
Otherwise, a trial has been set for Nov. 9.