Russia Arrests American Musician on Drug Expenses


An American musician and former paratrooper was arrested in Moscow, Russia on drug dealing fees as he was paraded on state T.V. in a cage—and folks have questions. 

Reuters reports that musician and rock band supervisor Michael Travis Leake, 51, was arrested on June 6, and Russian authorities say he was promoting medicine. Leake is suspected of promoting mephedrone, a drug typically described as having results someplace in-between cocaine and MDMA. Russia banned mephedrone in 2010. Suspicions abound nonetheless, as a result of Leake has spoken out on tv about censorship and oppression in Russia.

Rossiya 24—state-owned, Russian language information channel—confirmed him standing in a courtroom cage. Russian tabloid community Ren TV confirmed Leake being detained on June 6 in Moscow, mendacity on the ground in his underwear and a T-shirt along with his arms tied behind his again.

Leake is outwardly denying any involvement: “I don’t perceive why I’m right here,” Leake’s assertion to police learn, Ren TV reports. I don’t admit guilt, I don’t imagine I may have performed what I’m accused of as a result of I don’t know what I’m accused of.”

Russian authorities routinely accuse journalists of being spies. Wall Avenue Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, as an example, who’s a U.S. citizen, was arrested last March on “espionage” charges.

“On June 10, 2023, Moscow’s Khamovniki District Courtroom took a measure of restraint in opposition to a U.S. citizen,” Moscow’s courts of basic jurisdiction stated on Telegram. “The previous paratrooper and a musician, who’s accused of working a drug dealing enterprise involving younger individuals, will stay in custody till Aug. 6, 2023.” The Russian courtroom assertion misspelled his identify “Travis Michael Leek.”

U.S. officers confirmed Leake’s detention Saturday.

“We will affirm that Michael Travis Leake was arrested and is detained in Moscow. Embassy officers attended his arraignment on June 10,” a U.S. State Division spokesperson told CNN. “We are going to proceed to watch the case carefully.”

Who’s Michael Travis Leake?

For an episode of Components Unknown on CNN, the late host (and hashish fan) Anthony Bourdain personally hand-picked Leake to take part within the present. Leake and others filmed in 2014 in Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia.

Leake mentioned his frustrations with censorship in Russia and recalled an incident involving his band and MTV.

“This was a documentary sequence about musicians standing up and risking their lives in some circumstances, to face up in opposition to authorities abuse of energy, authorities corruption,” Leake stated on Components Unknown. “And but, a overseas authorities was capable of editorially management what People viewers see on their TV screens. That to me is a scandal of epic proportion.”

It was apparently one in all Bourdain’s favourite interviews.

Leake will stay in custody till August 6. Leake’s mom Glenda Garcia told CNN about her mounting worries, together with the notion that her son might be used as roughly a political pawn.

Leake was previously a songwriter and musician within the Russia-based rock band Lovi Noch, which suggests “Catch the Evening” in Russian.

Tendency to Arrest People in Russia

Amid the struggle within the Ukraine, U.S.-Russia tensions are excessive, which isn’t good for People who carry medicine into the nation.

Final December, U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was launched after President Biden and authorities negotiated a prisoner swap. Griner confronted 9 years in a penal colony for possessing vape cartridges containing weed oil. 

In a controversial transfer, the U.S. agreed to commerce Griner for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms supplier who had been serving a 25-year jail sentence in america.

However U.S. authorities accused Russia of utilizing individuals like Griner and others as political pawns.

Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence in a Russian penal colony after being convicted of “espionage” fees.

Additionally don’t overlook the People who aren’t well-known. Sixty-one-year-old Marc Fogel was arrested in Russia final 12 months after authorities discovered medical hashish in his possession.

Interfax, a Russian information company, reported that if discovered responsible, Leake may resist 12 years in jail.

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