Oregon truck driver agrees to plea deal in Idaho hemp charge

Posted at 10:37 AM, Sep 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-11 19:27:59-04

BOISE, Idaho — Prosecutors say they've reached a plea deal with an Oregon truck driver who faced felony charges for driving a truckload of hemp through the state.

Related: Idaho State Police troopers make huge pot bust

The Ada County Prosecutor's Office said 36-year-old Denis Palamarchuk of Portland, Oregon, has agreed to plead guilty to hauling an improperly permitted load, which is a misdemeanor. In exchange, prosecutors have said they will drop felony trafficking charges against him, and will ask that most of his jail time be suspended.

Idaho State Police troopers stopped Palamarchuk along Interstate 84, and arrested him after they found the semi-truck he was driving was carrying several thousand pounds of hemp for Montana-based Big Sky Scientific.

Related: Highway Hemp Bust: Will laws change?

Idaho's anti-marijuana laws are so broadly written that they include hemp -- even though hemp is broadly used for industrial and manufacturing purposes and does not contain enough psychoactive THC to get a person high.

Related: Burnt River Farms explains the difference between hemp and marijuana