US soldier loses bid for release in Russia on theft charges

An who is being held in Russia on theft charges has been denied his request to be let go on Friday, a report says.

A court has chosen to keep Staff Sgt. Gordon Black in jail, Reuters reports, based on what Interfax said.

Interfax says that 34-year-old Black spoke to the court through a screen from a jail where people are held before their trials and he asked to have the order for his arrest cancelled. An interpreter is said to have heard him say that he would stay in Russia during the trial if he was released.

But prosecutors objected, arguing that Black could run away from the country, and the court finally agreed with them, Reuters reports.


Black, who joined the Army as an infantryman in 2008 and was sent to work for the Eighth Army U.S. Forces Korea at Camp Humphreys in South Korea, has been charged with criminal misconduct and is accused of stealing from his girlfriend. 

He went to Vladivostok, Russia, “for personal reasons” before the Pentagon says.  


The Pervomaisky District Court of Vladivostok said before that Black will be kept until July 2 because he “secretly took property from a citizen named T., causing the person to lose a lot of money.” Russian officials in Vladivostok said that a 32-year-old woman had filed a complaint against Black.

Reuters says that the officials said that the two people met in South Korea before Black went to visit her in Russia, where they had an argument. She then is said to have filed a police report accusing him of stealing money and Black was taken into custody at a hotel.  

Black’s mother, Melody Jones, has told that her son’s girlfriend in Russia asked her for money not long before her son was arrested on theft charges.  

’ Bailee Hill, Louis Casiano, Greg Wehner, and Pilar Arias contributed to this report.