Idaho drug charges dropped, but truck driver transporting hemp pleads to lower misdemeanor

An Oregon truck driver charged with felony drug crimes for driving a truckload of hemp to Colorado has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

The Ada County Prosecutor’s office said Denis Palamarchuk of Portland, Oregon, has agreed to plead guilty to hauling an improperly permitted load, a misdemeanor.

Prosecutors are dropping felony drug-trafficking charges and will ask that most of Palamarchuk’s jail time be suspended.

Idaho State Police troopers charged Palamarchuk with drug trafficking earlier this year after stopping his semitruck carrying some 7,000 pounds of hemp biomass for Big Sky Scientific of Aurora, Colorado.

Big Sky is challenging the hemp seizure in hopes of getting its biomass returned. A federal appeals court recently declined to intervene in the case.

-Associated Press and staff reports

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