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Fight to release New York film student from Russian jail after she was caught with 19g of marijuana


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Audrey Lorber, 19, of Staten Island, was arrested at Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg after Russian agents found 19 grams of marijuana on her

A New York City Congressman is calling for the release of a woman from Staten Island who is being held in a Russian jail.

19-year-old Audrey Lorber, of Staten Island, was arrested at Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg in July after Russian agents found 19 grams of marijuana on her.

The teen has a prescription for medical marijuana in the US which she showed to the agents but a Russian court said the prescription ‘does not apply to the territory of the Russian Federation’. 

Congressman Max Rose, who represents the New York City borough of Staten Island where Lorder usually lives is now urging Russian authorities to release the teenager and allow her to travel back to the U.S.

Congressman Max Rose, who represents Staten Island where Lorder lives is now urging Russian authorities to release the teenager and allow her back to the U.S.

Congressman Max Rose, who represents Staten Island where Lorder lives is now urging Russian authorities to release the teenager and allow her back to the U.S.

‘I’m working to help get Audrey home as soon as possible because no American citizen should be held in jail for a medical condition,’ Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., said in a statement over the weekend.

Lorber was caught with 19 grams of marijuana – worth about $375 and enough to roll 40 joints – while on vacation with her mother, according to a statement from the Moscow District Court of St Petersburg.

She pleaded guilty to the charges and is now awaiting trial according to a statement.

Drug possession carries up to three years in prison in Russia. 

‘We are aware of the reports of a U.S. citizen was arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia,’ the U.S. State Department said in a statement Monday, NBC News reported. ‘We take seriously our responsibility to assist U.S. citizens abroad. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.’ 

Audrey Lorber, a 19-year-old from Staten Island, New York, is being held in a Russian jail after agents at a St Petersburg airport found marijuana in her possession. Russian officials have not disclosed when Audrey was arrested, but she hasn't posted on social media since July 22, when she shared an Instagram photo (above) with her mom, Rochelle Lorber, in St Petersburg

Audrey Lorber, a 19-year-old from Staten Island, New York, is being held in a Russian jail after agents at a St Petersburg airport found marijuana in her possession. Russian officials have not disclosed when Audrey was arrested, but she hasn’t posted on social media since July 22, when she shared an Instagram photo (above) with her mom, Rochelle Lorber, in St Petersburg

Audrey was arrested at Pulkovo Airport after Russian agents found 19 grams of cannabis- worth about $375 - on her person, according to a statement from the Moscow District Court of St Petersburg. Officials said the teen's medical marijuana prescription is not valid in Russia

Audrey was arrested at Pulkovo Airport after Russian agents found 19 grams of cannabis- worth about $375 – on her person, according to a statement from the Moscow District Court of St Petersburg. Officials said the teen’s medical marijuana prescription is not valid in Russia 

Rochelle shared this photo of Audrey sipping tea at Palacio Nicolaievsky in St Petersburg

Rochelle shared this photo of Audrey sipping tea at Palacio Nicolaievsky in St Petersburg

Audrey’s most recent Instagram post, dated July 22, shows her touring St Petersburg with her mom, Rochelle Lorber. 

The pair are seen giggling at the edge of the Gulf of Finland, blissfully unaware of the legal trouble ahead of them.  

Audrey’s supervisor at Waterside Restaurant in Tottenville told the New York Post he talked to Rochelle two weeks ago as the mother was desperately working to get her daughter out of jail. 

‘She’s hysterical,’ Joey Guli said of Rochelle, a retired New York City school teacher. 

‘She moved out there and got an apartment just to try to get [Audrey] on house arrest, but they didn’t give it to her. 

‘It’s disgusting what they did. They are trying to throw the book at her.’ 

Guli described Audrey as a stellar employee who has worked at Waterside for several summers in between terms at Pace University in New York City. 

The film major is attending the school on scholarship and maintains a 4.0 grade point average, Guli said.  

‘She has a career ahead of her and wants to be in the movie industry,’ he said. ‘All my customers love her.’

Guli noted that he has never seen Audrey smoking marijuana or visibly high. It is unclear why she has a medical marijuana prescription. 

Audrey's mother Rochelle shared several photos of their European adventure on Facebook. the teen's supervisor at Waterside Restaurant in Tottenville, New York, said he talked to Rochelle two weeks ago as the mother was desperately working to get her daughter out of jail

Audrey’s mother Rochelle shared several photos of their European adventure on Facebook. the teen’s supervisor at Waterside Restaurant in Tottenville, New York, said he talked to Rochelle two weeks ago as the mother was desperately working to get her daughter out of jail

Audrey is pictured at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna on July 16, days before arriving in Russia

Audrey is pictured at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna on July 16, days before arriving in Russia 

Russian officials said Audrey said the cannabis she was caught with in St Petersburg had been purchased in the US and that she used it for 'personal consumption'

Russian officials said Audrey said the cannabis she was caught with in St Petersburg had been purchased in the US and that she used it for ‘personal consumption’

Russian officials said Audrey said the cannabis she was caught with in St Petersburg had been purchased in the US and that she used it for ‘personal consumption’. 

A US State Department spokesperson issued the following statement about Audrey’s situation to DailyMail.com on Sunday: ‘We are aware of reports of a U.S. citizen arrested in Russia. Whenever a U.S. citizen is arrested overseas, we stand ready to provide all appropriate consular services. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment at this time.’

Russia imprisons more people per capita for drug crimes than any other nation in Europe, with roughly one fourth of all prisoners jailed for drug-related offenses, according to the Moscow Times.  

Most arrests – including Audrey’s – are under Article 228 of the Russian Criminal Code. In 2018, 100,000 people were arrested for that charge, which carries a maximum sentence of three years.  

Earlier this year American-Israeli citizen Naama Issachar, 25, was arrested in Moscow and charged with smuggling nine grams of marijuana into Russia. 

Issachar was detained in the airport ahead of a connecting flight from India to Israel via Moscow. Her trial was set to start last week after more than four months in custody.  

Despite its strict enforcement of drug laws, Russia allowed attendees of the 2018 World Cup to bring heroin, cocaine and marijuana into the stadium as long as they had a doctor’s note written in Russian.   

Audrey is currently studying film at Pace University in New York City

Audrey is currently studying film at Pace University in New York City

The teen's boss described her as a stellar employee as well as a straight-A student

The teen’s boss described her as a stellar employee as well as a straight-A student

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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