Vladimir Putin appointed pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, sentenced to 20 years in prison in the US for drug trafficking, to the Public Council of the Russian Federation. In the presidential decree, he was called a “defender of human rights and a public figure”.
Konstantin Yaroshenko was engaged in passenger and cargo transportation in Africa. In 2010, he was arrested in Liberia and extradited to the United States. According to the investigation, he planned to deliver several tons of cocaine from Latin America to the United States through Liberia.
Yaroshenko pleaded not guilty but was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2011 after being found guilty of conspiracy to smuggle drugs. At the end of April this year, he was exchanged with the American student Trevor Reed, sentenced to 9 years in Russia for an attack on militiamen.
In May of this year, Yaroshenko announced that he plans to engage in public activity. “My mood right now is to give all my knowledge and skills to the benefit of Russian public life. To show the Americans that they are wrong,” he declared.
Currently, Russia and the US are also negotiating the exchange of other prisoners. Joe Biden proposed in July “merchant of death” Victor Booth, permanently connected to the arms trade in Bulgaria, for Paul Whelan, who was arrested for espionage, and Olympic champion Brittney Greiner, who is behind bars for drug use.