Michael Travis Leake is also a former paratrooper in the US military.
Monday, 12 June 2023 12:52
MOSCOW — An American musician who has lived in Russia for more than a decade has been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking, Russian news media reported Saturday.
The report said Michael Travis Leake was suspected of selling mephedrone, which has similar effects to cocaine and MDMA. A Moscow court ordered him to be held for two months in pre-trial detention, the report said.
He faces charges of producing or distributing illegal drugs, which carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
An Instagram page with the Instagram name Travis Leake identifies him as the singer for the band Lovi Noch (Seize the Night). News reports said Leake was a former paratrooper with the US military and had lived in Moscow since 2010.
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Leake's mother, Glenda Garcia, who lives in Bakersfield, said she had not heard from her son since Mother's Day.
Russian drug laws are very strict. WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested in February 2022 after a vape canister filled with cannabis oil was found in her luggage at a Moscow airport. He was sentenced to nine years in prison, but was released in December in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout being jailed in the US.
The US State Department said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press that it was aware of reports that a US citizen had recently been arrested in Moscow. It said when a US citizen is detained overseas, the department “pursues consular access as soon as possible and works to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”
The department said it would not comment further due to privacy considerations.
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