Trucker faces felony for hauling what he said was hemp through Idaho. Now he’ll go to trial.

Crime Watch

BOISE – A Portland truck driver charged with drug trafficking for hauling cannabis through Idaho — police said it was marijuana, the driver said it was hemp — is set to go to trial in early October.

Denis Palamarchuck pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in 4th District Court on Tuesday morning, according to online court records.

District Court Judge Jonathan Medema scheduled a three-day trial, which is set to start Oct. 2. A pretrial conference was set for Sept. 17.

Though the federal farm bill legalized hemp in December, it remains illegal in Idaho. The Idaho Legislature considered bills that would have legalized hemp — but none passed. One of those bills would have legalized hemp transport through the state.

RELATED: Trucker arrested after trooper finds 6,701 pounds of pot. It’s likely the largest bust in ISP history.

A pair of out-of-state truck drivers who got caught hauling hemp plants in Idaho in April 2018 pleaded guilty last week to possession with the intent to deliver. The crime carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. They will be sentenced June 25.

RELATED: Colorado company says federal judge’s ruling proves truck seized in Idaho was full of hemp

This story was first published by the Idaho Statesman. It is used here with permission.

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