Mark Vogel, a former employee of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Moscow, was detained at Sheremetyevo airport with 17 grams of marijuana, which he said he used for medical reasons.

A court in the Moscow region sentenced a former employee of the U.S. Embassy to 14 years in prison in a high-security colony on charges of drug smuggling.

Mark Vogel was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in August 2021. He was found to have drugs on him. Vogel at one time worked at the embassy, but at the time of his arrest was an employee of the Moscow Anglo-American school, the report says.

Vogel pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling, storage, transportation, manufacture and processing of narcotic drugs.

The U.S. Department of State has not yet responded to a request for comment regarding Vogel.

In January, CBS News reported that Vogel told visiting lawyers that he had used marijuana for medical reasons after spinal surgery. At the time of his arrest, he had 17 grams of the substance with him, the TV channel reported with reference to Vogel’s lawyers.

The verdict was handed down amid rising tensions between Russia and the United States over the war in Ukraine and other controversial issues.