NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – Three state republican lawmakers are calling on Russia to release North Texan Trevor Reed from prison.

Reed is serving a nine-year sentence for an alleged altercation with Russian police, which he denies.

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Senator John Cornyn and Congressmen August Pfluger of San Angelo and Michael McCaul of Austin joined Reed’s parents, who live in Granbury, on a zoom call Wednesday.

During the meeting Rep. McCaul suggested Reed is being used as a bargaining chip. “Trevor is an American hero who proudly served his country in the United States Marines,” he said. “Putin has been holding him as a political pawn and a hostage for a crime he did not commit.”

Trevor Reed, charged with attacking police, stands inside a defendants’ cage during a court hearing in Moscow on March 11, 2020. (credit: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images)

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Reed, who was born in Fort Worth, recently spent a week in what Russia called a psychiatric prison. His parents say he later wrote to them that he was put in a cell with seven deranged people.

Representative McCaul says Russia described the transfer as a mistake. But he says the US is investigating, because Russia would’ve violated international law if Reed was sent there on purpose.

Reed was found guilty of causing “mental and physical harm” to two police officers while drunk after a 2019 birthday party in Moscow. Russian authorities Reed was drunk inside a police car when he grabbed the arm of the driver, causing him to swerve into another lane, and elbowed another officer who tried to intervene.

Reed pleaded not guilty, but received the nine-year prison term. His lawyers say it was the harshest sentence ever handed down for that charge in Russia.

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CBSDFW.com Staff