Charges dropped against truck drivers

Robert Smith

Osage County prosecutors have dismissed aggravated drug trafficking charges against two truck drivers in January who helped to bring into Pawhuska a transport truck load of material that allegedly consisted, at least in part, of marijuana.

Charges have been dismissed regarding Farah H. Warsame, 33, of Cleveland, Ohio, and Tadesse D. Deneke, 51, of Mobile, Ala.; however, the two truck drivers have been ordered to return to Osage County District Court on Aug. 7 as witnesses.

Prosecutors continue to pursue charges against two other men, David M. Dirksen, 31, of Comstock Park, Mich., and Andrew J. Ross, 30, of Aurora, Colo.

A preliminary hearing for Dirksen and Ross has been scheduled for Aug. 7-8. They face one count each of aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Defense attorneys argued the material in the transport truck was a legal load of industrial hemp. Prosecutors claim that lab tests on samples show that at least some of the material met the legal standard for marijuana. The load was bound from Kentucky to Colorado and became a subject of controversy in Osage County after a traffic stop in Pawhuska.

“At the end of the day, we have to file charges against those we believe are truly guilty,” District Attorney Mike Fisher said. He clarified that his office believed the truck drivers might have had some knowledge of what was going on but considered them lesser figures in the case.