Who is Marc Fogel? Teacher jailed in Russia SLAMS Biden for helping Brittney Griner but not him
A private school teacher who has been jailed for 14 years in Russia after being caught with medical weed has slammed President Joe Biden for not trying to free him despite his attempts at freeing Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. "Teachers are at least as important as bballers," Marc Fogel wrote in a letter.
Fogel's letter comes as his wife Jane and two nieces are pushing Biden for his release after he was arrested in August 2021. Fogel was caught with 17 grams of prescription marijuana hidden in a contact lens case. The drug is forbidden in Russia. Fogel's son Ethan said that although his father was aware of the law, he thought he could get away with smuggling. He was eventually apprehended and imprisoned.
"There's a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that Marc will be left behind," Fogel's wife, Jane, told the Washington Post. Meanwhile, the White House has confirmed that it is working on a possible prisoner swap to free Griner, who was arrested after being found with two cannabis vape cartridges in her baggage, as well as Whelan, who was accused of being a spy in Russia and given a 14-year sentence.
Who is Marc Fogel?
Fogel is not classified as 'wrongly detained' by the US, but Griner and Whelan are, the Daily Mail reported. His family hopes that he achieves that designation so that diplomatic attempts to free him are escalated. "It's terrifying," Jane said, before adding, "I would hope that President Biden and especially first lady Jill Biden, who is an educator, realize the importance of including Marc in addition to Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan." Fogel was accused of trying to bring marijuana into the country to sell to his students and was subsequently handed a 14-year sentence by a Russian judge.
Fogel and his wife Jane have two sons, Sam, 22, and Ethan, 24, both of who reportedly attended the Anglo-American School in Moscow. Fogel, who provided education in International Baccalaureate history courses for children of diplomats, had been teaching internationally. Fogel, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, allegedly tried to bring 14 vape cartridges of medical marijuana into his suitcase. He even stuffed some of it in his shoes and placed some cannabis flowers into a contact lens case. He was finally apprehended at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
Fogel reportedly kept a diary while in jail, in which he penned his thoughts and experiences while being unsure what his punishment would be. He wrote about how confused he was because he was constantly being transferred between detention centers. He also wrote about a "guardian angel" who provided him with food and how he created his own games out of gruel bowls and apricots.
Fogel wrote that he thought Russian authorities were trying to "break him". "I feel it in my bones, my soul, it seems throughout my body," he wrote. He said that his "crying has carved new lines" and expressed how there was a "lack of empathy from these heartless bast****", referring to the Russians imprisoning him.