CHEYENNE—A Laramie County choose threw out drug trafficking charges against hemp advocates and farmers Debra Palm-Egle and Joshua Egle Thursday, discovering prosecutors lacked possible trigger that the mother-and-son duo supposed to develop and distribute marijuana.
At the conclusion of the preliminary listening to, Laramie County Circuit Court Judge Antoinette Williams additionally dismissed charges against a contractor and his spouse, Brock and Shannon Dyke, who labored for the farmers and had been on the property when the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation raided it in November 2019.
Prosecutors sought to cost all 4 with conspiracy to fabricate, ship or possess marijuana; possession with intent to ship marijuana; possession of marijuana and planting or cultivating marijuana. All however the final are felonies. The choose dismissed all charges, together with a misdemeanor marijuana cost, a court docket clerk mentioned Friday.
Lawyers for the defendant argued, and the choose in the end dominated, that the farmers had supposed to provide hemp, not marijuana. The day of the raid, Brock Dykes confirmed DCI brokers the outcomes of checks performed on the crop that indicated it contained lower than 0.3% THC.
Under Wyoming’s hemp statutes, the crop has to have a THC-concentration restrict under 0.3%. Marijuana and hemp are derived from the identical plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical in marijuana that will get customers excessive. Its low presence in hemp retains the crop from being categorized a drug.
Acting on a tip, DCI in the end seized 700 kilos of hemp from the Egles’ farm. When brokers ran it by means of a sequence of their very own checks, most check outcomes got here again with THC concentrations greater than 0.3%. The highest outcome was 0.6%.