Trucker arrested after trooper finds 6,701 pounds of pot. It's likely the largest bust in ISP history. - East Idaho News
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Trucker arrested after trooper finds 6,701 pounds of pot. It’s likely the largest bust in ISP history.

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BOISE — It’s likely the biggest marijuana bust in Idaho State Police history, and an Oregon truck driver is now facing criminal charges.

Denis V. Palamarchuk, 36, was arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail on Thursday on a charge of felony trafficking in marijuana after police say they discovered 6,701 pounds of pot in his tractor-trailer.

An ISP trooper working at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Station inspected Palamarchuk’s rig at the East Boise Port of Entry. According to an ISP news release, the trooper examined the cargo’s bill of lading – a document that declares what’s in the truck. Hemp was listed on the form, but the trooper became suspicious the driver was actually carrying marijuana.

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Courtesy Idaho State Police

The trooper looked inside one of the 31 large bags and observed a green, leafy substance that appeared to be pot. It tested positive for THC, and an ISP drug-sniffing canine team had a positive hit on the cargo. The plants have been sent to an independent lab for further testing.

Denis V. Palamarchuk
Denis V. Palamarchuk | Ada County Jail

“This is the largest Idaho State Police trafficking seizure of this type in any present-day trooper’s memory,” said ISP director Col. Kedrick Wills in the release.

The 6,701 pounds is more marijuana than ISP has seized in the past five years combined:

  • 2014 – 319 pounds
  • 2015 – 458 pounds
  • 2016 – 507 pounds
  • 2017 – 1,375 pounds
  • 2018 – 2,131 pounds

Palamarchuk posted a $100,000 bond and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Ada County on Feb. 7.