Russia releases Trevor Reed in prisoner exchange with US

Trevor Reed, the Marine who had been jailed for nearly three years in Russia, is on the way home after a surprise prisoner exchange between Russia and the United States.

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Reed’s release was agreed upon when American officials said they would release a Russian drug trafficker, Konstantin Yaroshenko, who had been convicted and was serving a 20-year prison sentence, The Associated Press reported.

Reed’s parents said in a statement shortly after the news of their son’s release was announced, “Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is on his way back safely to the United States,” the AP reported.

“We’d respectfully ask for some privacy while we address the myriad of health issues brought on by the squalid conditions he was subjected to in his Russian gulag,” the family said, according to CNN.

Reed had been arrested in 2019 after Russian officials said he assaulted an officer while he was being taken to a police station after a night of heavy drinking. Reed’s family said he was innocent, but had been sentenced to nine years in prison. The U.S. government said he was being unjustly detained and his health had declined.

Yaroshenko was held in a Connecticut federal prison after being convicted of smuggling cocaine into the U.S. He had been arrested in Liberia in 2010 and was extradited to the U.S., the AP reported.

President Joe Biden had met with Reed’s parents in Washington last month.

Reed and Yaroshenko were released in a prisoner swap in a European country, but officials did not say exactly where, the AP reported.

Reed’s parents said the exchange happened in Turkey during an interview with CNN.

Reed is not the only American being held in Russia for crimes against the country.

WNBA star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive, Paul Whelan, are still in the custody of Russia.

News of the exchange came as a surprise due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the AP reported.

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