Two truck drivers who were arrested in Pawhuska January 9 when they drove through town with 18,000 pounds of what investigators say is hemp that in some cases exceeds the legal limit of TCH have been released from the jail.
Tadesse Deneke and Farah Warsame were being held on a $40,000 bond for aggravated trafficking. On Friday, the men were released on their own recognizance, meaning they did not have to post bail.
Pawhuska Police arrested them for hauling what police believed was nine tons of marijuana, but attorneys for the men said it was legal hemp.
They and two other men were arrested when Pawhuska Police Chief Rex Wickle said officers pulled over the semi-truck because it didn’t stop at a stoplight in town.
When the officers walked up to the 18-wheeler, they reported smelling an odor of marijuana. Wickle said the truck field tested positive for marijuana.
Test results from the DEA later showed 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.
The Osage County District Attorney released the following statement:
Through the of course of our investigation, we have begun to question the involvement of the drivers of the truck. We asked for their cooperation in the investigation. They have now given that cooperation to us. Charges are still pending against all four individuals. But the investigation will continue and we will continue to look at the culpability of each individual.
At this point, the two drivers of the semi in which the drugs were found have been released on their own recognizance pending further investigation, and will return to court on March 22.
Osage County District Attorney Mike Fisher