Charges dropped against men involved in Pawhuska hemp case

PAWHUSKA, Okla. — UPDATE: 7/31/19: Charges have been dropped against four men arrested in Pawhuska accused of hauling 18,000 pounds of marijuana.

Original Story:

Charges were dropped Friday against two men involved in the transport of a marijuana-like substance through Oklahoma.

Tadesse Deneke and Farah Warsame are no longer facing charges, but must testify as witnesses in the trial for the other two men involved in the investigation.

Pawhuska police pulled over at least 18,000 pounds of marijuana-like substance in one traffic stop on January 9.

Four people were arrested on accusations of aggravated trafficking. The four men involved -- David Dirksen, Andrew Ross, Farah Hassan Warsame, and Tadesse Defugu Deneke -- were charged in connection with trafficking illegal drugs. The charges against Warsame and Deneke were dropped. Dirksen and Ross were charged with possession of a firearm while committing a felony.

Police told FOX23 a semi-truck ran a red light around 3 a.m. January 9 when officers pulled the truck over. A white van was following the truck down the road before the traffic stop. One officer said they felt something was not right about the truck.

Police said the truck was carrying at least 18,000 pounds of what they believed to be marijuana.

Police said the people driving the truck gave officers a bill of sale for hemp weed but investigators said the document was vague. They told police they were coming from Kentucky and headed to Colorado where recreational marijuana is legal. However, investigators say Colorado state law states that marijuana can only be legally grown and sold within the state.

However, police took action while they awaited the test results of what was in the truck. The testing was delayed due to the partial government shutdown that lasted through most of January.

On January 31, FOX23's Rick Maranon obtained test results showing five out of 11 samples of the substance tested positive for THC amounts just above 0.3 percent -- what the Osage County District Attorney says is considered to be marijuana.

More testing will be used to determine the legality of the shipment.

FOX23 will continue to follow this story.

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