US releases convicted drug dealer to Russia in exchange for jailed Marine
US Navy veteran Trevor Reed was released from prison in Moscow on Wednesday as the US traded a convicted Russian drug trafficker for his release.
The New York Post reported that President Joe Biden said in a prepared statement, “Today we welcome Trevor Reed home and celebrate his return to the family who have missed him dearly. Trevor, a former US Marine, is free from Russian custody.”
Biden shared his intention to free Reed with his parents, Joey and Paula, saying he “heard in the voices of Trevor’s parents how worried they were about his health and missed his presence.”
Biden said: “I am grateful for the tireless and dedicated work of the President’s Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens, the US Ambassador to the Russian Federation John Sullivan and many others in our administration to ensure Trevor got home safely came.”
He added, “The negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required tough decisions that I don’t take lightly.”
Reed has been imprisoned in Russia since 2019. He was serving a nine-year sentence for an incident in which he attacked two Moscow police tenders who drove him to a police station the night after a party where he reportedly blacked out while drunk.
A senior US official and the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Reed’s release was negotiated as part of a joint prisoner swap. The US received Reed in exchange for handing Russia over Konstantin Yaroshenko, a convicted Russian drug trafficker who was serving a 20-year sentence in Connecticut.
The exchange is believed to have taken place in an unidentified European country, but a Russian Federal Security Service plane was seen flying to Ankara, Turkey, just hours before the exchange.
In recent weeks, Reed’s parents have become increasingly concerned about their son’s health as he went on a hunger strike to protest his treatment by Russian officials.
Reed’s father said: “Trevor had an injury where he thinks he broke a rib. He also has all the symptoms of active tuberculosis. He went to a prison hospital for about 10 days and they didn’t treat him.”
His father said his son asked to stay in hospital but was instead put in solitary confinement where he started coughing up blood and “something was sticking out of his side”.
The Reed family thanked Biden “for the decision to bring Trevor home.”
https://www.theblaze.com/news/biden-russia-prisoner-swap US releases convicted drug dealer to Russia in exchange for jailed Marine