Idaho prosecutors ask to delay sentencing in hemp case

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho prosecutors say they want to find an "appropriate" resolution for two men who pleaded guilty to felony drug trafficking after they were arrested for hauling industrial hemp through the state.

Andrew D'Addario, of Colorado, and Erich Eisenhart, of Oregon, were scheduled to be sentenced this week, but in a new filing Ada County prosecutors said they want to find an "appropriate" resolution for the case. Boise State Public Radio reports the sentencing hearing is now scheduled for September.

In the court document, the Ada County prosecutors said the outcome of their case will likely impact how other jurisdictions across the state handle hemp transportation cases.

Industrial hemp is legal in every state surrounding Idaho and the federal Farm Bill passed late last year legalized the production of hemp nationwide, though the U.S. Department of Agriculture is still promulgating the rules needed to put the Farm Bill fully into effect. The USDA released a memo last month telling states they can't block the interstate transportation of hemp.

Rep. Dorothy Moon, a Republican from Stanley who tried to legalize hemp in Idaho last year but failed amid heavy opposition from law enforcement lobbying groups, said she was pleased by the prosecutors' decision.

"I hope that they do use discretion to where these men aren't going to be used as the poster boys for not driving industrial hemp across the state," she said.

During the plea hearing earlier this year, D'Addario said the men were transporting hemp plants from one licensed industrial hemp farm in Colorado to another farm in Oregon.

Another man, Denis Palamarchuk, is also facing drug trafficking charges for hauling more than 3 tons of industrial hemp through Idaho. He has pleaded not guilty, and faces a minimum of five years in prison if he is convicted.

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Information from: KBSX-FM.