U.S. Marine veteran Trevor Reed is released from Russia in a prisoner swap

The Biden administration and the family of Trevor Reed say the U.S. Marine veteran is out of Russian prison and safely on his way back to the U.S.

The decision follows years of advocacy by his family and recent reports that his health was rapidly declining.

Russian Foreign Ministry says Reed was exchanged for jailed pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko in a prisoner swap that took place in an unspecified European country.

Yaroshenko was sentenced in 2011 to 20 years in prison for conspiring to import more than $100 million worth of cocaine into the U.S.

"Today, we welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly. Trevor, a former U.S. Marine, is free from Russian detention," Biden said in a statement.

Biden said, "The negotiations that allowed us to bring Trevor home required difficult decisions that I do not take lightly." He did not elaborate.

Reed was detained during a trip to the country in 2019 and accused of attacking a Moscow police officer.

He was sentenced in 2020 to nine years in jail. He says he doesn't remember the events of that night because he was drunk, and his family has accused Russian officials of fabricating the charge.

A Russian court decided to delay Reed's appeal at a hearing earlier this month, and he was expected to remain in prison as the appeal was sent to a lower court.

Read More