Moscow said on Wednesday it has traded former US Marine Trevor Reed, who is imprisoned in Russia for assaulting police, for Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was convicted of drug smuggling in the United States.
The prisoner swap comes at a time of mounting tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
“As a result of a lengthy negotiation process, on April 27, 2022, US citizen Trevor Reed, who had previously been convicted in the Russian Federation, was exchanged for Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a US court.” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram.
Footage released by Russian state television shows Reed — dressed all in black and carrying a large bag — being escorted by men in military uniform to a plane at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport.
Reed, a Texas college student and former Marine, was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Russian court in July 2020 after allegedly assaulting police officers while intoxicated.
While being driven to a police station, he reportedly grabbed a police officer’s arm, causing the car they were in to pull out of, and thrusting another officer into the abdomen with his elbows.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges and said he does not remember anything about the incident.
Konstantin Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in 2010 for drug trafficking. He was then transferred to the United States, where he was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2011.
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