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Family of Texas Marine imprisoned in Russia requests to meet with President Biden ahead of Fort Worth visit

Trevor Reed, 30, has been detained on charges that American officials have called absurd for over two and a half years. His family in Granbury wants him home.

GRANBURY, Texas — As war rages on in Ukraine, the family of a Marine from Texas now imprisoned in Russia is requesting to meet with President Joe Biden ahead of his Fort Worth visit this week. 

For Joey and Paula Reed, their message is simple: work to make a deal with Russia to bring their son and other detained Americans home before tensions between the two countries worsen. 

Biden is expected to visit Fort Worth on Tuesday to discuss veterans issues. 

The Reeds hope to share their message with Biden in person; if not, they plan to peacefully gather wherever the president's events are being held to bring awareness to their son Trevor's situation. 

Trevor Reed, 30, has been imprisoned in Russia for over two and a half years after visiting to see his girlfriend there in 2019. 

"We miss him terribly," Paula Reed said. "He's been gone far too long." 

"Imagine your child being kidnapped and how that would make you feel," Joey Reed said. "Then multiply that by 1,000." 

Reed's parents live in Granbury, which is west of Fort Worth. Before becoming a civilian and attending the University of North Texas, Reed served as a Maine security guard for the Obama administration. 

His parents said he was assigned to Camp David, protecting President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Biden. 

"He's met both of them, and we have the photographs to prove it," Joey Reed said. 

But in 2019, Reed traveled to Moscow to spend the summer with his girlfriend, a law student he had met online. The two had been dating for some time -- but after a private party, Reed became intoxicated and Russian police took him to sober up at a nearby station. 

Credit: AP
This 2018 image provided by the Reed family shows Trevor Reed at Red Square in Moscow, Russia. Russia is holding Marine veteran Trevor Reed, who was sentenced to nine years on charges he assaulted a police officer. (Reed Family via AP)

However, Reed's family says things took a drastic turn after Russia's FSB intelligence agency agents arrived and questioned Reed about his time being a Marine. 

The 30-year-old was charged with assaulting a police officer, per family, and was put on trial for the charge, which U.S. officials have patently described as absurd.

In 2020, Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison. After losing his appeal, he was moved to a prison camp in Mordovia, a penal colony roughly 350 miles from Moscow. 

Credit: ABC News
Trevor Reed

U.S. officials have opined that Reed's charges, along with those levied against another Marine named Paul Whelan, who's still in Russian custody, were fabricated by Russia to use the pair as bargaining chips for a possible prisoner swap with America. 

Reed's family says the prison camp hasn't allowed their son direct communications with them or his attorneys for weeks. They also added that he'd spent time in solitary confinement for refusing to do hard labor. 

Credit: WFAA
Joey and Paula Reed discuss their son, Trevor, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

On Friday, for the first time in 232 days, they received a call from Reed. 

"We were so surprised to hear from him," Joey Reed said. "It was 3 a.m. in the morning, and we talked for roughly 15 to 20 minutes." 

Reed's parents said their son has contracted tuberculosis and hasn't been given any access to medicine. 

"He sounded terrible and had been coughing up blood daily," Paula Reed said. 

"We want to get him home before something really bad happens to him." 

Reed's story is in the spotlight and brighter than ever after WNBA star Britney Griner was detained after playing basketball in Russia. 

Authorities reported they found hashish oil in Griner's luggage as she was leaving the country. 

The Reeds are sympathetic to Griner's family and the situation she's now in. 

"We'd be happy to talk with them," Paula Reed said. "We understand exactly how they feel because we've seen it too. It's not a fun club to be in." 

Now, the Reeds wait and hope for the best. Biden has said that getting Whelan and Reed home has been a top priority. 

Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin discussed the two Americans' detention and a possible prisoner swap at their summit in Switzerland last year, but a deal never happened. 

But with the war in Ukraine and the U.S. taking a heavy stance on Russian sanctions, the window for goodwill is closing. 

"He was the first friend in the world I ever had, and I want to see him again," sister Taylor Reed said.

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