American musician and manager Travis Leake, who has lived in Russia for over a decade, has been arrested by Russian officials on drug-related charges.
Michael Travis Leake, an American musician who has lived in Russia for more than a decade, has been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking, Russian news media reported on Saturday. The US Department of State confirmed The arrest came on Sunday and said US embassy officials were present when he was charged.
Leake was arrested on Saturday, where “Moscow’s Chamvoniki District Court took a preventive measure against an American citizen,” according to a statement from Moscow’s courts of general jurisdiction.
“The former paratrooper and musician has been accused of engaging in the drug business by luring young people,” the statement said. He added that he appeared before the Khamovniki District Court in Moscow on June 10 and will remain in detention until August 6.
Travis Leake is suspected of selling mephedrone, which has effects similar to cocaine and MDMA. He is accused of manufacturing or distributing drugs, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years. A Moscow court ordered him to be held in custody for two months.
“We can confirm that Michael Travis Leake has been arrested and is being held in Moscow. Embassy officials were present at his indictment on June 10,” a speaker for the US Department of State. “We will continue to monitor the case closely.”
“The U.S. Department of State and our overseas embassies and consulates have no higher priority than the safety of U.S. citizens abroad,” they continued, explaining that the Department “seeks consular access as soon as possible when a U.S. citizen being detained abroad”. and endeavors to provide the necessary consular assistance.
Travis Leake is the lead singer and manager of the band Lovi Noch. He is reportedly a former US military paratrooper who has lived in Moscow since 2010. For privacy reasons, the ministry made no further comments.