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Marc Fogel, a Pennsylvania resident, was given a disproportionate 14-year sentence in Russia despite low-level offense

Resolution pushes Biden Administration to press for Fogel’s release

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) applauded the Senate’s passage of a bipartisan concurrent resolution calling for the immediate release of Marc Fogel. Fogel, a Butler County native and Allegheny County resident, is a U.S. citizen and career educator who has been imprisoned by Russia since August 2021 for carrying less than an ounce of medical marijuana, which was legally prescribed to him in Pennsylvania to treat severe medical conditions. The resolution urges the Biden Administration to prioritize securing the release of Mr. Fogel and all other U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are wrongfully detained by Russia. Casey introduced the resolution last July alongside U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Jon Tester (D-MT), John Fetterman (D-PA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Chris Coons (D-DE).

“Marc Fogel has devoted his life to educating students around the world, from Pittsburgh to Oman to Venezuela to Moscow,” said Senator Casey. “After nearly three years of captivity, Marc’s health is rapidly declining and his life is in danger. I urge President Biden and his administration to do everything possible to bring Marc home.”

“The passage of this resolution sends a very clear message: it’s time to bring Marc Fogel home,” said Senator Fetterman. “Anyone who knows Marc—his family, friends, and students—will tell you about his infectious positivity and the countless lives he has changed in his 35 years of teaching. Marc and his family deserve to see each other again. We’ve seen the incredible work of the Biden Administration in bringing Brittney Griner and Trevor Reed home. Now let’s bring Marc home.”

“Marc Fogel’s imprisonment is unjust and unacceptable, and it has continued for far too long,” said Senator Tester. “I’m glad to see our bipartisan resolution demanding his release pass the Senate, and I will continue pushing the Administration and using every tool at my disposal to secure his return and ensure this innocent American is finally reunited with his loved ones.”

“I applaud the passage of this resolution reaffirming the United States’ commitment to bringing Marc Vogel home,” said Senator Tillis. “For nearly three years, Marc has been wrongfully detained by Russian authorities following his arrest while working as a school teacher in Moscow. We owe it to Marc’s family to do everything we can to ensure he is released and returns home safely.” 

“Marc Fogel was wrongfully sentenced to 14 years at a labor camp in Russia, joining other Americans like Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan who have been torn away from their homes by Moscow,” said Senator Coons. “Marc is a human being with a family, not a political tool. I’m glad our resolution calling for Marc’s immediate release unanimously passed the Senate, and I’m praying for his swift return home.”

The resolution is just the latest step Senator Casey has taken to push the Biden Administration to prioritize Marc Fogel’s case. In August 2022, he sent a letter to Secretary Blinken urging the State Department to designate Mr. Fogel as “wrongfully detained,” so his case can get the appropriate level of support from U.S. officials. Senator Casey followed up in October of that year urging immediate action by the State Department. Senator Casey has also helped the Fogel family set up meetings with other Congressional offices and administration officials to help bring attention to Mr. Fogel’s case and garner support to bring him home. Casey introduced this resolution with his colleagues last July and it passed this week with unanimous consent.

Casey spoke on the Senate floor today to applaud the resolution and call for the administration to bring Mr. Fogel home. Interested press should reach out to for video of the Senator’s floor remarks.