WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Marine veteran Trevor Reed, who was imprisoned in Russia since 2019, is now back home in Texas.
This comes after the U.S. and Russia conducted a high-stakes prisoner swap on Wednesday. Reed’s freedom came in exchange for a convicted Russian drug dealer, who was serving 20 years in a Connecticut prison for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine.
“It’s going to really hit us when we get to put our arms around him and hug him,” Paula Reed, Trevor’s mother, said.
Trevor’s parents said Biden broke the news of the exchange Wednesday morning. He was serving a nine-year prison sentence, accused of assaulting two Russian police officers after a night of heavy drinking in Moscow.
“A bunch of ‘I love you’s’ and ‘I’ll see you soon,'” Paula said.
Trevor’s parents lobbied for years for the U.S. to negotiate their son’s release, even recruiting U.S. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, to help put pressure on the administration to act.
“A Texan, a marine and a patriot has been released from a Russian prison after being held for an anguishing 985 days as a political pawn,” Pfluger said.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said it was a bipartisan effort, adding that concerns for Trevor’s wellbeing accelerated the process.
“His family would tell us that they basically had been cut off from contact, and they were concerned about not only his conditions of detention but also his health,” Cornyn said.
The Biden administration successfully secured the swap, which took place in Turkey.
“We are so thankful for President Biden meeting with us and taking swift action after meeting with us. We believe that he probably saved our son’s life,” Joey Reed, Trevor’s father, said.
The timing of this prisoner exchange is what surprised a lot of people, including Reed’s parents, given the poor relationship right now between Russia and the U.S.
Nonetheless, Trevor’s mom said she couldn’t think of a better Mother’s Day gift than bringing her son home.