BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Tehachapi High School graduate and former Eagle Scout has been locked up in a Russian prison for 10 months now, awaiting trial, and ironically he’s as much a prisoner of the COVID-19 pandemic as he is the authorities in Moscow.
It must have been an exciting time in his life: Tehachapi grad Trevor Reed, a 28-year-old former U.S. Marine attending the University of North Texas, had met a young Russian woman while on vacation in Greece. Their long distance relationship was in its third year when he traveled to Moscow in May 2019 to meet her for an extended visit. Reed couldn’t have known just how long it would be.
It was mid-August when, at a party with his girlfriend and some of her friends, he drank too much vodka. Way too much vodka.
Moscow police picked him up. Reed was charged with assaulting police officers who were driving him to a police station.
His father Joey Reed of Granbury, Zexas, Zoom-calling from Moscow, where he has rented an apartment, explained what happened.
“They said he reached up and grabbed the right arm of the driver,” Joey Reed said, “and shook it a couple of times, and that that caused the driver’s steering to wag — wobble, as they said — causing the police vehicle to go into oncoming lanes, and they feared they were going to turn over.”
Because Trevor Reed is a former Marine and was interviewed the night of his arrest by the FSB — the equivalent of our CIA — the media has drawn connections to the case of Paul Whelen, also a former Marine, who Russian authorities have charged with espionage and may now be a pawn in a possible spy-for-spy prisoner exchange.
But Joey Reed — whose family lived in Tehachapi for 16 years before moving to the Fort Worth area in 2011 — says there’s no way his son could be involved in anything remotely like that,
“I know people say, ‘Well, you know, you don’t know your kids and all that well,’ ” Joey Reed said. “When he’s in your house, like, 27 hours a day,” you do.
Joey Reed says witness statements as well as street surveillance video cast doubt on the arresting officers’ contention that the police van swerved — and he’s is eager for his son to have his day in court.
But Trevor Reed’s trial has already been postponed four times because authorities at the prison — fearing the spread of COVID-19 — refuse to go along with the court’s trial schedule and won’t allow defendants to leave their facility.
The stakes are high. Trevor Reed faces the possibility of 10 years in prison for what Russian authorities call a Level-2 crime. His next court date is June 30 — but another postponement still looms as a possibility.
Joey Reed and his wife Paula, Trevor’s mother, are asking their friends, acquaintances, anyone, to call their members of Congress, no matter what their Congressional District, in hopes that those elected representatives will keep this case on the radar of the U.S. State Department..