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Jail sentence in N.C. mountain vandalism

A Haywood County man will serve 90 days in jail for his role in a vandalism case earlier this year that damaged one of the Pisgah National Forest’s most popular areas.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Tyler Pace, 24, of Canton, was sentenced Wednesday in an Asheville federal court for vandalizing Max Patch. That area is next to the Tennessee state line and is intersected by the Appalachian Trail.

Max Patch is a bald mountain and offers a panoramic view that includes the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest and Mount Mitchell to the east. It is among Pisgah National Forest’s most popular picnic areas.

Federal prosecutors say Pace was among a group of men that drove vehicles illegally in Max Patch in January, causing more than $5,000 damage. Prosecutors say Pace tore down the entrance gate and fence, so others could drive on the property, which is not open to motor vehicles.

The damage includes large ruts in trails. Pace paid restitution for damage done at the national park area, federal officials say.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
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