U.S. citizen arrested on drug costs in Russia | EUROtoday

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RIGA, Latvia — Russian authorities have arrested a 32-year-old Russian-U.S. citizen over alleged drug costs, the Moscow courtroom press service reported Tuesday.

The twin citizen, Robert Romanov Woodland, was born in Russia, adopted as a toddler by an American couple and returned to reside in Russia in 2020. He was detained Friday, based on an announcement by the Ostankinsky District Court in Moscow, and ordered jailed till March 5 on costs of “illegal acquisition, storage, transportation, manufacture, processing of narcotic drugs.”

Romanov Woodland labored as an English instructor, based on a Facebook profile bearing his identify and delivery date. He was adopted as an orphan from Perm by American couple Marcia and David Woodland when he was 2 years outdated in 1993, he advised the Moscow newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda in December 2020.

He mentioned his identify at delivery was Roman Romanov and that his delivery date was Dec. 7, 1991. He moved completely again to Russia in 2020, based on the Facebook profile and the newspaper interview.

“The truth is that I am not an American at all, but a Russian,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

The U.S. State Department has accused Russian authorities of improperly detaining two Americans in Russia. Evan Gershkovich, 33, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was arrested final yr and accused of spying. Paul Whelan, 53, a safety advisor, was jailed in 2018 and convicted of spying and sentenced to a 16-year jail time period in 2020. Both males and the State Department have strongly denied the costs.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned final month that Russian and U.S. officers have been engaged in talks over Gershkovich however denied reviews that Moscow had rejected a suggestion to free him. White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has mentioned talks have been underway concerning Gershkovich and Whelan.

WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested in February 2022 for carrying vape oil containing traces of hashish. She was convicted in August that yr and sentenced to 9½ years in jail. In December 2022, she was exchanged for Russian arms trafficker Victor Bout, who was convicted and imprisoned within the United States.

The State Department didn’t instantly touch upon Romanov Woodland’s arrest.

Russian Telegram media outlet MASH, identified to be near Russian regulation enforcement, reported that the case towards Woodland Romanov is said to unlawful drug manufacturing, carrying a attainable time period of as much as 20 years in jail.

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Romanov Woodland advised Komsomolskaya Pravda that his mother and father, American scientists, adopted him after seeing a video of him enjoying within the orphanage and that they liked him and an adopted sister “very much.” After faculty, he acquired a job washing dishes in a hospital kitchen.

He tracked down his delivery mom, Galina Romanova, along with his adoptive mother and father’ help and was reunited along with her on a Russian state tv program. He returned briefly to the United States earlier than shifting again to Russia completely. He advised Komsomolskaya Pravda that he missed his American household and phoned them typically.

In August 2021, based on an Instagram profile in his identify linked to the Facebook profile, he obtained a Russian passport. In 2022, when Russia mobilized greater than 300,000 males to struggle in Ukraine, Romanov Woodland posted a message to household and mates on Facebook saying that he didn’t help the battle however that if mobilized, “I will not turn away.”

According to the Facebook profile, Romanov Woodland attended Saranac Lake Senior High School in northern New York state and Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia and labored as a prep prepare dinner at Dillon Dam Brewery in 2020 earlier than shifting to Russia.

Natalia Abbakumova contributed to this report.