US Marine veteran Trevor Reed was wrongfully detained in Russia in 2019. Now, he has just been released to see his beloved friends and family again. His family said, “Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States.” Reed came with a prisoner swap when the United States returned pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko who went to prison in 2011 for importing over $100 million worth of cocaine.
President Biden stated, “I heard in the voices of Trevor’s parents how much they’ve worried about his health and missed his presence. And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor’s freedom.”
Reed was imprisoned for drunkenly assaulting a police officer, but his family and the US diplomats defended him, saying he was innocent. He had tuberculosis and a possible broken rib after getting hospitalization, and President Biden and Reed’s family felt it was urgent to save him in his sickness. There were other Americans who got detained in Russia, including Paul Whelan and WNBA star Brittney Griner. Whelan was accused of being an American spy in Russia.
Ryan Fayhee, a former Justice Department, said, “They wish the family the very best, but they also view this as a missed opportunity. It was a pretty high price to pay. If you make a comparison between the two people who’ve gone home today, to not include Paul in that is a missed opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Griner was detained for allegedly having hashish oil in her luggage. State spokesperson Ned Price said, “We are in frequent contact with her legal team, with her broader network, and we have no higher priority than the safety and security of Americans, including those who are incarcerated in Russia.” Griner played for the UMMC Ekaterinburg team and her wife asked for privacy as she and the family are working together to bring Griner home. Kogawa Colas of the Los Angeles Times said, “It’s a community that chooses its words carefully, that’s used to moving together as a unit. For now, that community is doing its best to trust in BG’s legal team and have confidence in the White House’s commitment to doing everything in their power to bring Brittney home.”
President Biden said he won’t stop until Whelan comes home. He and his administration are committed to bringing detained Americans in Russia back to their homeland because they do not deserve to linger any longer there for unlawful detainment.