25 Aug 2022 15:53

Moscow region's court upholds sentence of former U.S. embassy employee Fogel for smuggling, illegal drug trafficking

KRASNOGORSK, Moscow region. Aug 25 (Interfax) - The Moscow region's court has upheld the sentence handed down to Mark Fogel, a former employee of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, who was sentenced to 14 years in a penal colony for smuggling drugs and illegal drug trafficking, the court told Interfax.

"The sentence handed down by the Khimki City Court of the Moscow region of June 16, 2022 was upheld," the court told the agency on Thursday.

The court thus declined an appeal filed by Fogel's defense lawyers, who had asked for his punishment to be mitigated.

The sentence has taken legal force and is subject to enforcement.

The Khimki City Court sentenced Fogel to 14 years in a high-security penal colony for drug smuggling and illegal large-scale drug trafficking.

As reported, Fogel was detained in possession of drugs in Sheremetyevo Airport on August 15, 2021. He was charged with smuggling and illegal acquisition, storage, transportation, production, and processing of narcotic substances, psychotropic substances or their analogues.

Fogel pleaded guilty to all charges at the court.

Fogel, a former employee of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, was working as a teacher at the Anglo-American School. Same as his wife, he had diplomatic status until May 2021. According to a theory of investigation, he might have used the diplomatic status to arrange the smuggling of drugs into Russia for distribution at the Anglo-American School.

The police later released a video of the searches conducted at the Anglo-American School in Moscow as part of the investigation.

The school is managed by the embassies of the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada via the school council.