The United States and Russia on Wednesday announced a prisoner exchange that has freed Trevor R. Reed, a former Marine who was convicted on charges that his family said were false, in exchange for Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot who was sentenced to a longer term. in the United States accusations of cocaine smuggling.
“Trevor, a former U.S. Marine, is free of Russian detention,” President Biden said in a statement. “I heard in the voice of Trevor’s parents how much they cared about his health and missed his presence. And I was happy to share the good news about Trevor’s freedom with them.”
The agreement was the result of “protracted negotiations”, according to Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Mr. Reed’s family confirmed his release in a statement, saying they would now concentrate on “the myriad health problems posed by the miserable conditions he was subjected to in his Russian gulag.”
Sir. Reed, who is based in Texas, traveled to Russia in May 2019 to visit his Russian girlfriend, whom he had met on a dating website, and to take language lessons. One week before his planned return to the United States, Mr. Reed to a party in a park outside Moscow, where he drank large amounts of vodka.
Mr. Reed got excited and got his girlfriend and friends to call the police. Officers who arrived at the scene decided to take him to the station, where Mr. Reed was interviewed by Russian security agents. Shortly afterwards, he was charged with assaulting and endangering the lives of the two police officers who had driven him there.
After spending more than 11 months in a Russian prison, Mr. Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison the first time such a severe sentence had been used for that type of crime, his lawyers said. At one point during a hearing, Mr. Reed that the case against him was political and linked his problems in Russia with his military affiliation.