Russia has detained and brought drug-related charges against US citizen Robert Woodland, who was apprehended by law enforcement earlier this month, a Moscow court said Tuesday.

"On January 6, the Ostankinsky District Court of Moscow ordered Robert Romanov Woodland to be placed in detention for a period of two months, until March 5, 2024," the court said on social media.

He is accused of the "illegal acquisition, storage, transportation, manufacture, processing" of drugs and faces up to 20 years in prison. 

Russian authorities have arrested several US citizens in recent years, with critics accusing Moscow of using detainees as bargaining chips to exchange Russians jailed in the United States.

Paul Whelan, an ex-US marine was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in jail on spying charges that he denies.


In late March 2023, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich became the first Western journalist to be held on espionage charges in Russia since the Soviet era.

US-Russian dual citizen, journalist Alsu Kurmasheva, was arrested in October. She has been charged with failing to register as a "foreign agent" and spreading misinformation.

In December 2022, Russia released basketball superstar Brittney Griner in exchange for notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout -- known as the "Merchant of Death" –- who had been jailed in the United States.

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