BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Another American citizen, this time hailing from Bakersfield, has been detained in Russia. Travis Leake, as we have learned from 17 News, is currently facing drug charges that carry a potential prison sentence of 20 years. Leake was presented before a Moscow court during the past weekend for arraignment.
Leake, a musician who has resided in Russia for the past ten years, shared a Facebook post over a year ago expressing his sense of support in Russia and stating that he is not worried about becoming a victim of unjust persecution.
Over the weekend, Russian state media aired a video featuring Leake, where he expressed his confusion about the situation, stating, “I don’t understand why I’m here. I don’t believe that I could have committed the alleged actions because I am unaware of the accusations against me.”
Leake joins the growing list of Americans who have been arrested amid escalating tensions between Russia and the United States.
The U.S. State Department has officially labeled two other detained Americans in Russia as “wrongfully detained.” The department is currently working to ascertain whether Leake’s detention is also wrongful.