GRANBURY, Texas — From nearly 6,000 miles away in Granbury, Texas, a family is fighting to free a U.S. Marine veteran from a Moscow, Russia prison.
In May 2019, Trevor Reed traveled to Moscow to spend the summer with his Russian girlfriend. He planned to spend three months there.
In August 2019, his family says he went to a party at a park, where he became intoxicated. The family was told he was in the car with some friends when they pulled over because Reed was feeling sick after drinking too much. The driver called police for help, and Reed was arrested. He has no memory of the incident.
The friends, including his girlfriend, followed in their car to the police station. She was told to pick him up in a few hours after he sobered up, but when she arrived at the jail the following morning, the situation changed.
Reed was charged with assaulting two police officers.
"They are saying that he assaulted the police officers as they were driving the car, causing the car to swerve into oncoming traffic which could have threatened multiple lives. But we have evidence that none of that is true," said Taylor Reed, his younger sister.
His girlfriend collected street surveillance videos between the place he was arrested and on the way to the police station.
"All of the video footage at the police station and police station parking lot has conveniently been deleted, but we have witnesses," said his sister. "There is overwhelming evidence that none of that is true."
The family said none of the evidence proving his innocence mattered in the courtroom in Russia.
Trevor Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison.
After the sentencing, he spoke with the media and said, "They didn't ask me about fighting police. They asked me where I served in the Marine Corps, what deployments I was on. Everything about this case is political."
"We think he is being held hostage as a bargaining chip," said Paula Reed, his mother. "Our next step is an appeal."
The family is pleading for United States government leaders to bring Trevor Reed home.
A GoFundMe page was set up for the family to help with legal and translation fees.
In addition, Reed's father, Joey Reed, has been living in Russia for nearly a year working to free his son.
"He has been working tirelessly. He is working 24 hours a day. This is all he does."
Trevor Reed has been sending letters from prison to his family. He is required to write in Russian, a language he is not familiar with. His family then translates the letters to English.
In the most recent letter, he wrote to his sister, "I know after all this, the world will find out I'm not guilty. [...] Tell everyone I'm okay and I miss you very, very much. And I love you very, very much."