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Moment Former Marine Trevor Reed Is Swapped For A Russian Drug Smuggler

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Moment Former Marine Trevor Reed Is Swapped For A Russian Drug Smuggler

Footage shows the prisoner exchange between Russia and the US, during which Trevor Reed, who was imprisoned in Russia, was swapped for convicted drug trafficker Konstantin Yaroshenko.

Former US Marine Reed had been serving a nine-year sentence after being arrested for assault in 2019. Russian authorities claimed he assaulted a police officer while being driven to a police station following a night of drinking. 

His family have always maintained his innocence, while the US government has said his detention was unjust. 

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Authorities in Russia and the US were able to come to an arrangement, which saw Reed being swapped with Russian pilot Yaroshenko who was serving a 20-year sentence in Connecticut for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine into the US after he was arrested in Liberia in 2010 and extradited to the US.

A senior US official described Reed’s case as one of ‘utmost priority’ for the Biden administration, due in part to concerns over Reed’s health. 

The official noted that Yaroshenko, whose sentence has now been commuted, had already served the majority of his sentence.

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Trevor Reed was arrested in 2019. Credit: Alamy
Trevor Reed was arrested in 2019. Credit: Alamy

They said: “It was a difficult decision but one that we thought was worth it.”

Following the news, US President Joe Biden said in a statement: "Today, we welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly.

"Trevor, a former US Marine, is free from Russian detention. I heard in the voices of Trevor's parents how much they've worried about his health and missed his presence.

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"And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor's freedom."

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the exchange of Reed and Yaroshenko was ‘a result of a long negotiation process’.

The exchange took place in a European country, which is thought to have been Turkey, although officials have not confirmed this. 

Reed's family have spent years campaigning for his release. Credit: Alamy
Reed's family have spent years campaigning for his release. Credit: Alamy
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Welcoming his release, Reed’s family said in a statement: "Our family has been living a nightmare. Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States.”

The statement went on to thank Biden ‘for making the decision to bring Trevor home’ as well as other administration officials and Bill Richardson, the former US ambassador to the United Nations who the family say flew over to Russia just hours before the invasion of Ukraine to ensure Reed’s release. 

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Zvezda/Russian Ministry of Defence

Topics: News, Russia, US News, Joe Biden

Claire Reid
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