Ex-US paratrooper arrested in Russia

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A court in Russia’s capital has detained a US army veteran on accusations of narcotics peddling. Travis Leake has been in Russia for a few years, working as a musician and performing in a band, according to local media.

On Saturday, the press office of Moscow’s Khamovniki Court confirmed to TASS that the American would be held in pre-trial detention until August 6.

Officials also stated that Valeria Grobanyuk, Leake’s acquaintance, had been arrested previously in connection with the crime.

Police investigated Leake’s flat earlier this week, according to Russia’s REN TV channel, and discovered a suspicious-looking material, scales, and ziploc bags.

If convicted, the US veteran may face up to 12 years in prison.

Leake claims himself as a singer in the Russian band ‘Lovi Noch’ (Catch the Night) on his VK social media account.

According to the court press office, the individual previously served in a US army airborne battalion.

According to REN TV, Leake participated in Washington’s military effort in Iraq.

When cannabis oil was discovered in the suitcase of WNBA player Brittney Griner in February 2022, Russian police arrested her. She was sentenced to nine years in prison in August of that year.

However, she came home in December when Washington and Moscow completed a prisoner swap in Abu Dhabi. In exchange, the US released Russian national Viktor Bout, who had been imprisoned for 25 years on gun-running allegations.