ACCORDING TO MEDIA REPORTS, a US Army veteran, Travis Leake, has been placed in custody by a Moscow court on suspicion of drug dealing. Leake, who has been residing in Russia for several years and working as a musician, was confirmed to be held in pre-trial detention until August 6 by the press office of Moscow’s Khamovniki Court, as reported by TASS news agency.
Authorities disclosed that Leake’s acquaintance, Valeria Grobanyuk, had been previously arrested in connection with the case. In a recent search of Leake’s apartment, law enforcement reportedly discovered a substance with a suspicious appearance, weighing scales, and Ziploc bags, as per Russia’s REN TV channel.
If convicted, the US veteran could face a maximum sentence of 12 years in jail. On his VK social media account in Russia, Leake describes himself as a singer in a Russian band called ‘Lovi Noch’ (Catch the Night). The court press office revealed that Leake had previously served in a US Army airborne unit.
According to allegations made by REN TV, Leake had participated in a military campaign in Iraq under the auspices of the United States. In February 2022, Russian authorities arrested WNBA star Brittney Griner after cannabis oil was found in her luggage. Subsequently, she was sentenced to nine years in prison in August of the same year.
However, following a prisoner swap between Washington and Moscow in Abu Dhabi, Griner returned home in December. As part of the exchange, the US released Russian national Viktor Bout, who had been serving a 25-year sentence on charges related to gun-running.
Please note that the information presented here is based on available news reports and allegations, and the legal process and outcome are subject to further developments and investigation.