Driver arrested in Idaho record pot seizure

Idaho State Police last week arrested a driver at the East Boise Port of Entry after a routine inspection found the truck was loaded with 6,701 pounds of marijuana. This is the largest pot bust in Idaho history, according to the ISP.

Idaho State Police photo of the record pot bust.Idaho State Police photo of the record pot bust.

Thirty-six-year-old Denis V. Palamarchuk of Portland  was arrested Thursday, Jan. 24, and charged with felony trafficking of marijuana. He posted $100,000 bail and is out on bond.

According to a statement from the ISP, the truck’s bill of lading identified the 31 bags of cargo as industrial hemp. However, the trooper from the Commercial Vehicle Safety section who did the inspection suspected it was actually marijuana, according to the ISP.

The trooper used a narcotic identification kit to test a sample of the cargo; it tested positive as marijuana. The trooper also requested a canine drug-sniffing team examine the load and the dog indicated it was indeed marijuana, according to the ISP’s statement.

“This is the largest Idaho State Police trafficking seizure of this type in any present-day trooper’s memory,” said Colonel Kedrick Mills, ISP director. The previous largest seizure was 2,131 last year.

The bust is similar to one earlier this month in Oklahoma when a cargo said to be industrial hemp was identified by police as marijuana.

Police in Pawhuska, Oklahoma stopped a tractor-trailer Jan. 9 for running the only red light in the small town in the northeast corner of the state. A resulting search found the trailer filled with what cops say was more than 18,000 pounds of marijuana.

However, employees of a company accompanying the truck claim the load was 60 pallets of industrial hemp being shipped from Kentucky to Colorado to be processed for medical use. Still, four people were arrested, including the truck driver.