28.4 C
New York

Prosecutors drop charges against hemp haulers who they say were tricked into trafficking marijuana


Oklahoma authorities have dropped charges against four men who they say were intentionally tricked into hauling illegal marijuana when they thought that they were hauling industrial hemp.

The Osage County District Attorney’s Office has dropped drug trafficking charges against Farah Warsame, Tadesse Deneke, Andrew Ross, and David Dirksen, according to local news station KFOR.

The charges came after a semi truck and a minivan were pulled over by police in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, after they were spotted running a red light on January 9, 2019.

DEVELOPING STORY: Pawhuska police pulled this semi-truck over early this morning for running a red light to find at least 18,000 POUNDS of marijuana loaded in the back.READ MORE: http://bit.ly/2VGkJek

Posted by FOX23 News on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Police said that they smelled a suspicious order during the traffic stop, and, after searching the semi truck, they discovered at least 18,000 pounds of a substance that they said was marijuana.

The semi truck driver and his co-driver, Warsame and Denke, told police that they were hauling industrial hemp from Kentucky to Colorado. They also explained that the men in the minivan, Ross and Dirksen, were employed by Patriot Shield Security and acting as security for the semi truck.

A field test performed on the substance reportedly came back positive for marijuana and all four men were arrested.

PAWHUSKA BUST UPDATE:I’m headed back up to Pawhuska today to talk to the attorney representing two of the men involved…

Posted by Taylor Newcomb News On 6 on Thursday, January 10, 2019

All four men later pled not guilty to the trafficking charges.

Prosecutors dropped charges against the truck drivers back in March and now say that they have decided to drop the charges against the security guards even though some of the load turned out to be illegal marijuana because they are convinced that the four men really believed that they were hauling hemp.

“During the course of the subsequent investigation, it became the State’s belief that the drivers of the truck were unaware of the contents of the shipment that they were transporting and the charges against them were dismissed. Since that time, additional evidence has come to light to indicate that the security guards, as well, were duped by the seller into participating in the illegal shipment of 4,326 pounds of marijuana. As a result, the State will be dismissing the charges against both security guards in the interests of justice,” said the Osage County District Attorney’s Office.

The Kentucky company that sold the hemp/marijuana product is now facing a federal lawsuit from the Colorado buyer.


Get the hottest daily trucking news

This Week in Trucking