Trever Reed, a former U.S. Marine who has been detained in Russia for roughly three years has been returned to the U.S. in a prisoner swap.
Reed was arrested and charged with beating a police officer following a night of heavy drinking in the summer of 2019, and he had been detained since then. In exchange for Reed’s release, the United States agreed to return Konstantin Yaroshenko, a Russian pilot serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for conspiracy to smuggle drugs into the U.S.
The Washington Examiner reports:
“First and foremost, we’d like to thank President Biden for his kindness, his consideration, and for making the decision to bring Trevor home. The President’s action may have saved Trevor’s life,” Reed’s parents, Joey and Paula, said in a statement. “We’d also like to thank Ambassador John Sullivan and the Moscow Embassy staff for believing in Trevor’s innocence and for their zealous advocacy.”
Joey and Paula appeared on CNN shortly after the news broke, and the former Marine’s father explained that “they flew him from [Moscow] to Turkey, and then Trevor quickly told us that the American plane pulled up next to the Russian plane, and they walked both prisoners across at the same time, like you see in the movies.”
Joey Reed also said that they had been able to speak with Trevor, and when they were on the phone, President Joe Biden called the family. They were first informed of Trevor’s release by the State Department, Paula Reed said, though she said she didn’t believe she could go into more detail.
“Today, we welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly,” Biden said in a statement. “Trevor, a former U.S. 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. And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor’s freedom.”
A senior administration official told reporters that Reed’s release is a result of a months-long negotiation process. ”
Ultimately, those negotiations led the president to make a very hard decision,” the official told reporters.
The official also noted that the conversations between the two governments strictly adhered to the detainees and no other diplomatic issues.