US citizen arrested in Russia for drug trafficking

A US citizen has been arrested in Moscow for drug trafficking, Russian courts in Moscow announced on Saturday.

NBC News is not identifying the person by name at this time pending notification from his family.

The US citizen in question was charged with “unlawful production, sale or shipment of narcotics on a large scale”, public radio Sputnik reported. Moscow courts later upheld the arrest. He added that the maximum sentence for this crime was 20 years in prison.

“We are aware of reports of the recent arrest of a US citizen in Moscow,” a State Department spokesperson told NBC News.

“When a U.S. citizen is detained overseas, the Department seeks consular access as soon as possible and strives to provide all appropriate consular assistance.”

The State Department spokesperson made no further comment citing confidentiality considerations, but added, “The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of American citizens at the foreigner”.

The US citizen will remain in custody until August 6, according to the report.

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