Russian court sentences 61-year-old former US embassy employee to 14 years in prison for “smuggling” 11 grams of marijuana

The Khimki City Court of the Moscow Region found 61-year-old former teacher and employee of the US Embassy in Moscow Mark Vogel guilty of smuggling and illegal possession of drugs and sentenced him to 14 years in a strict regime colony. This was reported by the press service of the court.

Vogel, as the media wrote, was detained at Sheremetyevo Airport in August 2021 with 11 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of hash oil. He was said to have arrived from New York with marijuana hidden in five lens cases and hash oil in 14 e-cigarette cartridges. Six months later, he was found in SIZO-5 by employees of the capital's Public Monitoring Commission (POC). The American told human rights activists that he was prescribed medical marijuana by a doctor after spinal surgery, but he did not know about its ban in Russia.

Vogel worked at the US Embassy in Moscow until May 2021. After that, he got a job as a teacher in the capital's Anglo-American school. In the educational institution in the Vogel case, searches were carried out.

In recent years, Russian justice has already handed down harsh sentences to US citizens in similar cases. In 2020, the Moscow City Court sentenced American student Trevor Reid to nine years in a penal colony for a drunken brawl with Moscow police, but two years later he was exchanged for pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, convicted in the United States for drug smuggling.

American Daily Newspaper

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