On June 17, the Khimki City Court in Russia announced it had sentenced United States citizen Marc Fogel to 14 years in a high-security penal colony for “large-scale” smuggling of cannabis. According to the report, the former diplomat was detained for possessing illegal drugs in Sheremetyevo on August 15, 2021, upon arrival from a flight from New York.
“During customs checks, the marijuana and hash oil was found in his luggage,” Russian officials said, emphasizing that the drugs were hidden inside the e-cigarette cartridges and contact lens cases. As a result, he was charged with smuggling, illegally acquiring, storing, and transporting illegal substances.
“On June 16, 2022, the Khimki City Court of the Moscow region found U.S. citizen Marc Fogel guilty of committing crimes under Part 3 of Article 229.1 (drug smuggling), Part 2 of Article 228 (illegal acquisition, possession, transportation, manufacture, and processing of narcotic drugs) of the Russian Criminal Code,” the Russian court said.
“(The court) sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment to be served in a high-security penal colony.”
Fogel was a former employee of the US diplomatic mission in Moscow and was working as a teacher at the Anglo-American School in Moscow. He and his wife enjoyed diplomatic status until May 2021.
One theory during the Russian investigation suggested that Fogel used his diplomatic status to smuggle drugs into Russia and distribute it at a drug ring inside the Anglo-American School. The court noted that Fogel pleaded guilty in full. Russian police released footage of a search operation done at the Anglo-American School, managed by the American, British, and Canadian embassies in Moscow.