Skip to main content

Already a subscriber? Make sure to log into your account before viewing this content. You can access your account by hitting the “login” button on the top right corner. Still unable to see the content after signing in? Make sure your card on file is up-to-date.

A US citizen has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in a Russian prison after being convicted on drug charges.

Robert Woodland, a US-Russian dual national, was sentenced on Thursday by a Russian court to serve his time at a maximum-security penal colony. Detained in January, Woodland was accused of attempting to sell a substantial quantity of methadone.

2024 Woodland Arrested Drug Charges 84928684

Russian state-run media reported that Woodland was found guilty of attempted drug trafficking and participating in an organized criminal group. Russian prosecutors stated that Woodland had tried to package a large quantity of methadone in a Moscow apartment, allegedly collaborating with a criminal group to transport the drugs. His lawyer, Stanislav Kshevitsky, noted that Woodland had partially confessed to the charges.

The US State Department has been involved in the case but has limited its comments due to privacy considerations. Vedant Patel, a State Department spokesperson, declined to comment on the news, saying, “Due to privacy considerations, there is a limit to how much I can share, but the [Russian] Ministry of Internal Affairs notified us on January 9th of the detention of this US citizen.”

This case adds to the growing list of US nationals held in Russian prisons, including Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, a corporate security executive, both of whom the US government claims are wrongfully detained. The US government has previously accused Russia of engaging in “hostage diplomacy,” using detained Americans as leverage for negotiations, a claim Russia denies.


Keep up to date with our latest videos, news and content