OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — The father of a Camp Pendleton Marine veteran jailed in Russia says he's been sent back to a prison hospital and fears what the war in Ukraine could mean for his son.
“You think about it every waking hour, nightmares in the middle of the night,” said Joey Reed.
After more than two and a half years of fighting for his son's release, Reed fears time is running out.
His son Trevor Reed, 30, a Pendleton Marine veteran who served for five years, remains jailed in Russia.
“He was sent back to the hospital where he was at a week previous,” said Reed.
In August 2019, while he was visiting his girlfriend, Trevor was detained by police while he was intoxicated.
Prosecutors accused Trevor of grabbing a police officer who was behind the wheel. His father says authorities refused to produce video from inside the police vehicle, and turned his son into a political pawn. Trevor pleaded not guilty. He was later convicted and sentenced to nine years.
Recently, Reed believes his son suffered a broken rib and has been suffering the symptoms of tuberculosis for months.
“He has all the classic symptoms. He’s coughing blood, all day. He has a fever off and on. He’s lost weight. He gets headaches. He’s had pain in his chest for months … Experts tell us it has up to a 70% mortality rate, and 25% of those who survive will have lasting physical symptoms from it,” said Reed.
After Trevor protested his treatment in prison with a hunger strike last week, he was taken to a hospital.
But Reed is skeptical.
“Their government is saying they’ve tested him for tuberculosis several times, but our son is saying he’s never been tested … He’s had little or no treatment for all his ailments. They X-ray for his rib didn’t come out. They refused to give him another X-ray and then put him in solitary confinement … Once, it took eight days to get a Motrin,” said Reed.
Reed is also worried about the impact of the war in Ukraine, fearing Russian officials may move against the US by targeting his son.
“They could make his treatment worse. It’s bad, but it could be worse. They could make additional charges on him. We fear that,” said Reed.
Last week, after Joey and his wife Paula held a protest outside the White House, President Biden met with them for about 40 minutes.
“He was extremely gracious. He was compassionate. He was concerned, and listened to us say everything we needed to without interrupting. We just believe he’ll now make something happen,” said Reed.
Reed is calling on the administration to get his son home as quickly as possible and by whatever means, including a prisoner swap.