PAWHUSKA, Okla. — Charges have been filed against the four men accused of transporting thousands of pounds or marijuana in Osage County.
The district attorney’s office said the substances tested positive for marijuana, leaving them with probable cause to charge the four men. But family members argue that it’s just hemp.
"They`ve done their research on the laws,” Rebeccah Jepsen said of husband Andrew Ross, who is one of the men accused.
Ross and three other men were arrested in Pawhuska on January 9th. The four were booked for aggravated drug trafficking. They pleaded not guilty, claiming they were transporting legal industrial hemp.
But the district attorney’s office said they believe otherwise.
“We have probable cause to believe that the people that were driving the vehicle and the people who were in the security van knew that it was marijuana,” Osage County District Attorney First Assistant, Michelle Keely said.
Court documents filed on Tuesday show samples came back from the D.E.A.’s South Central Lab in Dallas. The samples went through four different tests and were identified as marijuana.
While both hemp and marijuana contain THC, hemp has a very low trace of THC. Less than .03%. But the tests done at the Texas lab don't check for levels of THC.
“We don’t have a level yet. We’re still waiting on that. Unfortunately the lab that is going to do the levels is in Washington, D.C. and based upon the furloughs, we don’t have that back yet,” Keely said.
“Kind of an indefinite unknown,” Jepsen said.
Keely said the tests in D.C. could still come back as hemp. Still, the district attorney’s office said there is enough evidence to believe it is indeed, marijuana.
But Jepsen disagrees and claims her husband is innocent.
“We just have to really put our faith in the justice system and believe that ... we all know what was being transported was hemp,” Jepsen said.
The district attorney’s office said they don’t know when the THC level results will be back from D.C.