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Idaho State Police report largest pot bust in agency history

Idaho State Police say a trooper discovered more than 6,700 pounds of suspected marijuana inside a semi truck during a routine traffic stop.
Credit: Idaho State Police
Photo of the hemp seized by Idaho State Police during a traffic stop in January, 2019.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho State Police officials say troopers made the biggest marijuana bust in the agency's known history after a semi truck allegedly filled with over 6,700 pounds of marijuana plants was stopped between Boise and Mountain Home on Thursday.

ISP spokesman Tim Marsano said Tuesday the truck from Portland, Oregon was stopped on January 24 as part of a routine, random commercial vehicle safety inspection. The driver's bill of lading - a document that details the cargo in the shipment - said the trailer was carrying 31 bags of hemp.

Marsano says the trooper detected a strong odor of marijuana during the inspection, and so opened one of the bags and performed a field test which showed the plant to be marijuana.

An ISP drug-sniffing dog was also called and alerted to the presence of drugs.

36-year-old Denis V. Palamarchuk of Portland was arrested and charged with felony marijuana trafficking.

Credit: Ada County Jail

"This is the largest Idaho State Police trafficking seizure of this type in any present-day trooper's memory," ISP Director Colonel Kedrick Wills said in a press release.

The plants have been sent to an independent lab for further testing.

Between 2014 and 2018, Idaho State Police say they seized the following amount:

2014 - 319 pounds

2015 - 458 pounds

2016 - 507 pounds

2017 - 1,375 pounds

2018 - 2,131 pounds

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