Former United States Marine Trevor Reed was freed following a U.S.-Russian prison swap, CBS News reports.
Reed, who was jailed in 2020 on assault charges in relation to a drunken incident in Moscow that took place during the previous year, was released after a "lengthy negotiation process," Russia's Foreign Ministry confirmed Wednesday (April 27).
The veteran was released in exchange for Russian Konstantin Yaroshenko, who had been incarcerated in the U.S. for more than a decade on drug smuggling charges.
Reed's family said their "prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States" in a statement obtained by CBS News.
President Joe Biden also issued a statement confirming that he informed the family of Reed's freedom.
"We welcome home Trevor Reed and celebrate his return to the family that missed him dearly," Biden said via CBS News, thanking Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens and U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, among others, for their "tireless and dedicated work" in relation to Reed's release. "I heard in the voices of Trevor's parents how much they've worried about his health and missed his presence. And I was delighted to be able to share with them the good news about Trevor's freedom."
Reed was convicted of assaulting two Russian police officers and sentenced to nine years in prison in 2020 after pleading not guilty and maintaining that he had no recollection of the incident, with U.S. government officials questioning the fairness of the trial.
The veteran's legal appeal against his conviction and prison sentence was dismissed in a Russian court and sent to a lower court only two weeks ago, with U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan claiming, at the time, that Reed "remains in prison for a crime he didn't commit."
President Biden vowed that his administration would continue working toward the release of former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan and WNBA star Brittney Griner, both of whom remain incarcerated in Russian prisons.
Whelan has been serving a 16-year sentence on espionage charges since 2018 that U.S. officials and family members say are fabricated.
Griner was detained after vape cartridges containing hashish oil were discovered in her luggage at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport earlier this year.