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 courtroom in Moscow’s Khamovniki district instructed the Interfax information company that the person was an ex-paratrooper and musician and accused him of organizing a drug-dealing enterprise involving younger individuals.
The State Division recognized the person as Michael Travis Leake. Embassy officers attended his arraignment on Saturday and “will proceed to watch the case intently,” working to supply “all acceptable 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 costs, was released in a prisoner swap. Ms. Griner was held for nearly 10 months on a hashish possession cost and her case grew to become 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.
The US 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 have been imposed on the nation. It was not instantly clear what number of have remained in Russia.