A Russian court on Thursday sentenced a former employee at the U.S. embassy to 14 years' imprisonment in a maximum security penal colony on drug smuggling charges, Interfax news agency said.
The agency said Marc Fogel had been detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport in August 2021 with drugs. He had once worked at the embassy but at the time of his arrest was employed at the city's Anglo-American school, it said.
Fogel pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling, storing, transporting, manufacturing and processing narcotic drugs, Interfax said.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Fogel.
In January, CBS News reported that Fogel told lawyers who visited him that he used marijuana for medical reasons after spinal surgery. The amount he possessed when detained was 17 grams, or just over half an ounce, CBS quoted Fogel as telling the lawyers.
The sentence was handed down amid increasing tensions between Russia and the United States over the war in Ukraine and other matters.
Star U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner was detained at a Moscow airport on Feb. 17 on allegations of having cannabis oil vape cartridges in her luggage. This week her pre-trial detention was extended to July 2.
Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian jail on espionage charges in June 2020.
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