September 24, 2023

(The Hill) – An American musician has been detained in Russia in reference to accusations of drug trafficking, in keeping with a number of experiences.  

TASS reported Saturday {that a} Moscow court docket ordered Michael Travis Leake to stay in custody on prices of “large-scale unlawful manufacturing, sale or trafficking of narcotic medication” till August 6. The Russian information company reported that his buddy, Valeria Grobanyuk, was additionally arrested in connection to this case and that every of them might withstand 12 years in jail if convicted.  

The Related Press reported that Leake was suspected of promoting mephedrone, which has results which can be just like MDMA and cocaine.

The State Division mentioned in an announcement to a number of information shops that it’s conscious of the experiences of the U.S. citizen being detained in Russia.  

“The Division of State has no increased precedence than the protection and safety of U.S. residents overseas. We’re conscious of experiences of the latest arrest of a US citizen in Moscow,” a division spokesperson mentioned. “When a US citizen is detained abroad, the Division pursues consular entry as quickly as attainable and works to supply all acceptable consular help. On account of privateness concerns, we now have no additional remark”. 

Leake’s Instagram web page additionally recognized him because the lead singer for Lovi Noch (Seize the Evening) who reportedly was dwelling in Russia for the previous 10 years.  

Reuters reported {that a} Telegram message posted by Moscow’s courts of common jurisdiction mentioned that Leake was a former U.S. paratrooper who was allegedly working a drug dealing enterprise with “younger folks.” 

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The Hill has reached out to the State Division for remark.