A U.S. Citizen Has Been Arrested in Russia, State Division Says

An American citizen was arrested in Russia and was being detained in Moscow, the U.S. State Division mentioned on Sunday. The person was accused of drug trafficking, based on Russian state media.

The press service for a court docket in Moscow’s Khamovniki district informed the Interfax information company that the person was an ex-paratrooper and musician and accused him of organizing a drug-dealing enterprise involving younger folks.

The State Division recognized the person as Michael Travis Leake. Embassy officers attended his arraignment on Saturday and “will proceed to observe the case carefully,” working to offer “all applicable consular help,” the State Division mentioned.

Information of the arrest got here six months after Brittney Griner, an American basketball star imprisoned in Russia on drug prices, was launched in a prisoner swap. Ms. Griner was held for nearly 10 months on a hashish possession cost and her case turned a world trigger as a result of she was seen as a hostage held by Moscow in response to worldwide sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

America advises all Individuals to keep away from touring to Russia. Many Individuals and residents of European international locations left Russia after Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, when Western sanctions and flight bans had been imposed on the nation. It was not instantly clear what number of have remained in Russia.

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