American citizen sentenced to 12.5 years in Russian prison

A Russian-born U.S. citizen was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison for drug-trafficking related charges in Moscow on Thursday, according to court officials.

Robert Woodland, born in Russia in 1991, was adopted by American parents at the age of two. Woodland returned to Russia at the age of 26 in order to meet his birth mother, he claimed.

Citing court officials, the Russian media outlet Interfax has stated that Woodland also holds Russian citizenship.

Woodland had been detained since January on attempted illegal drug trafficking charges which Russian government media claims are related to an organized group.

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At the time of Woodland’s arrest, the U.S. State Department stated it “has no greater priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas.” No further comment has been issued since.

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Woodland’s lawyer Stanislav Kshevitsky said Thursday they will appeal the ruling as his guilt has not been proven. Additionally, Kshevitsky cited Robert’s unspecified mental health issues as grounds for appeal.

At least a dozen Americans are detained in Russian prisons presently, according to reports by Reuters.

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If no appeal is filed, Robert Woodland will serve 12.5 years in a maximum security penal colony.

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