Marine Veteran Trevor Reed Prisoner in Russia

Faye Higbee
trevor reed

Marine Veteran Trevor Reed has been in a Russian prison since his arrest on August 16, 2019. He was sentenced to 9 years in a prison colony (aka labor camp) after the authorities said he “fought with police officers on the way to the station.” Problem is, video footage showed that he did not do it. The judge suppressed the video.

Trevor went to Moscow in May 2019 to pursue Russian language studies and visit his girlfriend, a Russian national. At the time, he was a student of International Studies at the University of North Texas.

August 16, 2019

After night of heavy drinking at a party in Moscow, Trevor Reed was arrested by two Russian police officers. They alleged that on the way back to the police station, Trevor grabbed the arm of the officer driving the vehicle, causing it to swerve dangerously, and elbowed the other officer who attempted to intervene. The allegations were false.

Trevor Reed in the cage for prisoners at his trial- screenshot via Radio Free Europe

The defense team disproved the claim with 59 minutes of traffic camera footage that showed no swerving or anything amiss. The squad car was undamaged and no one was hurt. The judge threw out the evidence. Sullivan noted that the prosecution claims were “so preposterous that they provoked laughter in the courtroom.”

Dallas News

The video of the police car going to the station showed “no swerving” at all. Even the judge laughed. But it didn’t matter- when the gavel came down, Trevor Reed was convicted and sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison for assaulting ‘government officials’.

According to some accounts, he was denied consular access and food at varying times. Former Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan stated when he was sentenced in August 2020,

This conviction, and a sentence of nine years, for an alleged crime that so obviously did not occur, is ridiculous. I cannot even say ‘miscarriage of justice’ because clearly ‘justice’ was not even considered. This was theater of the absurd.”

Ambassador John Sullivan 2020 The Marine Corps Times

The family suspects Trevor and another Marine veteran we previously wrote about, Paul Whelan, were to be used as bargaining chips. The narrative of the Russian media is similar, but not quite the same. Their spelling is incorrect as well. It is also not likely that he had a “fight with two women” – the women stated they were simply needing help to get him into their car. Trevor stated he didn’t remember any of it, since he was drunk…a vulnerability that all Americans need to pay attention to when travelling in a “hostile” country.

Recall that Trevor Reid was sentenced to 9 years in prison for attacking police officers in Moscow. The incident took place in August 2019. The foreigner, being drunk, had a fight with two women in the street. The police were called to the scene of the incident. On the way to the department, the student hit one policeman and attacked his partner, who was driving. He was charged with violence against government officials.

Not realizing that Russia monitors American news outlets is a foolish mistake, since they have been doing that literally for decades. They’re looking for those “bargaining chips,” leverage to use against the US government to get their own people back and get concessions for political gain. If they plan to do that, then tell both sides to get the lead out.

US Foreign Affairs Committee photo September, 2020

Republicans on the Foreign Affairs Committee are re-introducing legislation that seeks to pressure the Biden administration to get Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan released. The administration may attempt to use their captivity as a “bargaining chip” to push a new START Treaty with Russia, according to Dallas News. The family said that renewed attention of GOP Congress members conveys to Trevor Reed that “he is not forgotten.”


Featured photo: US Marine Corps

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