The parents of a former Marine who is imprisoned in Russia are pinning their hopes on a summit between presidents Biden and Putin Wednesday. Paula and Joey Reed are concerned for their son, Trevor Reed, who was sentenced to nine years in prison last summer, and hope Biden, whom Reed once protected at Camp David, will intervene on his behalf. Reed, who refused to plead guilty to charges that he assaulted a police officer in Moscow almost two years ago after going out for goodbye drinks with his Russian fiancee, has caught COVID in prison. His parents think his conviction was trumped up for political leverage, and said he is "being held as a pawn,” in a statement obtained by CNN. “It’s time for him to come home to Texas,” they said.
Russian authorities have limited Reed’s contact with family and US authorities. In a letter, handwritten in Russian per the prison’s rules, he asked if the embassy was even aware of his case. He also asked for toilet paper, water, and meat, and mentioned his COVID symptoms and weight loss. His parents have been pleading with the Russian government since his last phone call May 20 to let them contact him. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Reed’s parents, and the relatives of Paul Whelan, another former Marine being held in Mordovia, a day’s drive from Moscow. Whelan, who considers himself a hostage, maintains he’s innocent of the espionage he was convicted of, per CBS 11 News in Dallas-Fort Worth. (Read more US-Russia relations stories.)