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Oakmont man held in Russia to be moved to labor camp

A man from Oakmont who has been held in a Moscow detention center on a marijuana-related conviction is being moved to a Russian labor penal colony, his family said.

The family of Marc Fogel told Channel 11 news partner the Tribune-Review that they are afraid for him.

“We’re scared,” Fogel’s sister, Lisa Hyland of O’Hara, told the Trib. “We’re anxious.”

Fogel, 61, was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport on Aug. 14, 2021, as he returned to Moscow to teach.

When he and his wife arrived at the airport, Fogel had 17 grams of medical marijuana, which had been prescribed to treat chronic pain from a spinal condition. He was charged with drug smuggling and drug possession, and was held in custody pending trial.

Fogel attended several hearings in Khimkinsky Moscow Region Court and pleaded guilty.

Although he cooperated and gave proof of his medical condition, he was ordered to serve 14 years in a maximum-security penal colony.

Since that time, Fogel’s loved ones have appealed to politicians to help bring him home.

They are asking that Fogel be labeled “wrongfully detained,” which would allow for additional U.S. government resources to be committed to securing his release, the Trib reports.

Fogel’s family told the Trib the only communication they’ve had with him is through censored letters. When he is moved to the penal colony, they won’t be able to communicate with him at all, they said.

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