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Published May 04, 2011, 08:05 AM

ND man plans to plead guilty to spraying plants

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The owner of a weed spraying company accused of spraying pesticide on a threatened flower species in southeast North Dakota says he will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The owner of a weed spraying company accused of spraying pesticide on a threatened flower species in southeast North Dakota says he will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge.

Federal court documents accuse Matthew Hanson of using pesticide on national grasslands without authorization and damaging threatened plants.

Hanson's lawyer asked Tuesday for a change of plea hearing. The federal court document says the government will agree to dismiss one of the two counts.

Documents show the Ransom County Weed Board hired Hanson's company, Super Sprayers, to spray weeds in road side ditches within the county. Court documents say one of Hanson's employees sprayed federally threatened Western prairie fringed orchids sometime last summer.

Investigators say Hanson was required to be within 30 miles of his employee during spraying.

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