Tulsa Businessman Offers Help To Men Arrested In Pawhuska 'Hemp' Bust
A Tulsa business owner said he's willing to put up the bail money to get two truck drivers out of the Osage County jail.
Pawhuska Police arrested the men for hauling what police believed was nine tons of marijuana, but the men said it was legal hemp.
Chris Barnett owns a carpet cleaning business and a marijuana grow operation; he said he's outraged the men are still behind bars.
Barnett has been following this story since Pawhuska Police seized the 60 pallets of product. He said he was shocked earlier this week to find out two of the men involved are still behind bars.
"I could not believe that these guys were sitting in jail 30 days later," he said. "And it outraged me."
Tadesse Deneke and Farah Warsame are being held on a $40,000 bond for aggravated trafficking.
"If they think that's marijuana, it needs to be thrown in the trash," Barnett said. "It's terrible, it's a travesty."
Test results from the DEA show that of the 11 samples tested, several of them registered at 0.4 percent or 0.5 percent THC. The legal threshold for hemp is 0.3 percent.
"They've made a mistake," Barnett said. "Go ahead, suck it up, admit to it and do the right thing."
Barnett is now offering to pay to get who he feels are two innocent men out of jail.
"I'm hoping that by Friday they're walking out of that jailhouse, and I hope we have them on the way home soon," he said.
But Barnett is asking even more from the Osage County District Attorney.
"I think the District Attorney needs to have them released today, return their IDs," Barnett said. "Show everyone Oklahoma is better than what's been portrayed."
News On 6 was able to get a statement from DA Mike Fisher for the first time since the incident.
He said, "Eight of the eleven samples tested positive for marijuana because the THC levels in those samples came in above .3% and thus, by law, are not considered hemp."
Fisher also said he's working closely with the men's attorneys.