BOISE, Idaho (CBS 2) — A 36-year-old Portland truck driver, accused of hauling almost 7,000 pounds of marijuana through southern Idaho, is pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
The truck driver, Denis Palamarchuk, faces felony trafficking charges for driving a truckload of hemp through Idaho.
The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office said Palamarchuk is pleading guilty to a lesser offense of improperly permitted load including faulty bill of lading, which is a misdemeanor.
He was stopped on Jan. 24 by Idaho State Police along Interstate 84 and was found to be hauling several thousand pounds of hemp for Montana based Big Sky Scientific.
Test results from the seized shipment in Boise earlier this year confirm the driver was hauling hemp, not marijuana, according to court documents that have been unsealed by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Although the results were submitted to the district court under seal, the district court acknowledged that ‘no testing has reported a greater than .3 percent concentration level of delta-9 THC, meaning that the hemp, is indeed, hemp,”‘ according to Big Sky Scientific, the company involved in the lawsuit.
Palamarchuk was passing through Idaho from Oregon to Colorado when the stop happened.
Lab result tests conducted by an out of state facility showed the hemp contained traces of THC, the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis.
Any amount of THC is not legal in the state of Idaho.
Under the misdemeanor charge, Palamarchuk faced 180 days in jail, but 178 of those have been suspended with credit for two days already served.
He’ll also pay a $1,000 fine and he’s ordered to pay restitution of a little more than four thousand dollars for law enforcement costs.
Part of this agreement with the prosecutor’s office also means he’s agreed to not appeal this case.
“Our office and the attorneys for Andrew Keyl D’Addario and Erich Christopher Eisenhart filed a stipulation today. Additionally, our office and the attorney for Denis Vladimirovich Palamarchuk filed a stipulation today,” said the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.
Two other drivers, Andrew D’Addario and Erich Eisenhart, have already pleaded guilty to lesser drug charges.