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Oregon truck driver agrees to plea deal in Idaho hemp charge

Prosecutors in Idaho 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.

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, a misdemeanor. In exchange prosecutors are dropping felony trafficking charges and will ask that most of his jail time be suspended.

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

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