Reed is one of only two ex-marines in the United States.
Russia has been accused of unjustly detaining people, according to the US.
MOSCOW — Trevor Reed is one of two former Marines from the United States who have been detained by Russian authorities.
According to a jail rights monitoring group, a man who officials claim is being held prisoner by Russia has been relocated to a prison camp a few hundred miles outside Moscow.
Reed, 30, and the other ex-Marine, Paul Whelan, have been detained in Russia for over two years on allegations their families and American officials claim were made up by Russia in order to use them as bargaining chips.
At their summit in Switzerland last month, President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the two Americans’ incarceration and the prospect of a prisoner swap to liberate them.
Reed has been sent to a prison camp in Mordovia, about 350 miles outside Moscow, according to Alexey Melnikov, a spokesman for Moscow’s Public Monitoring Commission.
Whelan, the second former Marine, has already spent nearly a year at a camp in the same region, which is notorious for its large jail population.
“Trevor Reed was released from Moscow’s Investigative Isolation Prison No. 1 this morning.”
5 to one of the Republic of Mordovia’s camps,” Melnikov added, referring to the Russian government’s authority to investigate prison conditions.
Melnikov said he didn’t know which Mordovia camp Reed had been taken to, and it’s unclear whether it’ll be the same camp where Whelan is being kept, which is a prison for foreign inmates.
Reed was apprehended by Russian authorities in the summer of 2019 after attending a drunken party in Moscow while visiting his girlfriend.
According to his relatives, police initially indicated they were sending him to the station to sober up, but when officials from Russia’s FSB intelligence agency arrived to question him, Reed was charged with assaulting a police officer.
He was put on trial on allegations brought by the US government.
officials stated that they were ludicrous.
Reed was sentenced to nine years in jail by a court in July 2020.
Reed, whose family lives in Texas, spent over two years in Moscow’s pre-trial detention facilities.
But, his appeal against the sentence was denied last month, clearing the path for him to be sent to a prison camp.
Moscow has discussed trading Reed and Whelan for Russians serving prison sentences in the United States since their arrest.
Following Biden and Putin’s encounter in Geneva, when both sides indicated a readiness to explore a possible deal, optimism for a possible trade has soared.
At the beginning of this year, Russian officials have named a number of Russians they want to see released, including Viktor Bout, one of the world’s most prominent arms dealers, and Konstantin Yaroshenko, a pilot imprisoned on drug smuggling charges.
Roman Seleznev, another Russian national imprisoned in the United States, was recently highlighted by Russia’s state media. Seleznev is serving a 27-year term on criminal hacking allegations.
Because of the seriousness of Bout’s actions, American officials have ruled out his release.
Yaroshenko and Seleznev, on the other hand, are seen to be more likely to be included in any exchange.
Yaroshenko was caught in Liberia in 2010 following a Drug Enforcement Administration sting in which he agreed to ship cocaine to Africa and the United States.
He is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence.
The United States apprehended Seleznev.
In 2014, Maldivian law enforcement operatives were convicted of orchestrating a major hacking scam to steal credit card data from small businesses in the United States.
These three men are thought to be connected to Russian intelligence.
During Seleznev’s trial, prosecutors presented documents suggesting that when FBI agents met with Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, Seleznev was tipped off to an previous FBI investigation against him.
The Biden administration has stated that releasing Reed and Whelan is a top priority, and the US government released them last month.
Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan predicted that both will be discussed with the Russian leadership.
Reed’s family had thought he would stay in Moscow until a agreement was reached to release him.
Reed’s relocation, according to the Russian news service Interfax, does not mean that a deal for him is less likely.
Instead, the action could simply be the continuation of the Russian legal procedure.
If an appeal is denied, Russian detainees are usually transported within a few weeks.
“The fact that Reed has been sent to a prison does not rule out the possibility of him being exchanged for a Russian.”
He could still be extradited to the United States if the requisite agreement with the US is obtained.
“It’s on their side,” the insider told Interfax.
Whelan, 51, was a security executive for the BorgWarner auto parts firm when he was seized by FSB officers in his hotel room in late December 2018 while visiting Moscow for a friend’s wedding.
At a closed trial, he was charged with espionage and condemned to 16 years in prison on charges brought by his family and the US government.
Officials claim they were made up.
Last November, Whelan spoke to ABC News over the phone from the former Gulag camp.
“It’s not looking good.”
Whelan described the building as “very decrepit.”
“I’d say there’s maybe 50 to 60 of us in the building.”
So we kind of live on top of each other,” he said, adding that the inmates work eight-hour shifts in a “Dickensian” workshop and are only allowed to shower twice a week.
Other inmates, he added, treated him nicely and nicknamed him “Tourist.”
Trevor Reed A Former Marine Who Has Been Kept As A Hostage By Russia Has Been Transferred To A Prison Camp
Reed is one of only two ex-marines in the United States.
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