MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian court on Thursday sentenced U.S. citizen Robert Romanov Woodland to 12-1/2 years in a maximum security penal colony after finding him guilty of attempting to sell drugs, Woodland’s lawyer and Moscow prosecutors said.

Stanislav Kshevitsky, his lawyer, told Reuters that Woodland, who was detained in Russia in early January, had partially admitted his guilt.

Video footage released by the authorities showed a shaven-headed Woodland inside a glass courtroom cage listening intently, but with little emotion, as the verdict was read out.

Moscow’s prosecutors office said in a statement that Woodland, acting as part of a large-scale criminal group, had transported about 50 grams of mephedrone, a kind of amphetamine, from a pick-up point outside Moscow and brought the drugs to an apartment in the city, where he packed them for further sale.

He was arrested as he was dropping the drugs into a safe cache, prosecutors said.

The 32-year-old is one of a growing list of Americans who have been detained in Russia amid the greatest breakdown in relations between the two powers in decades.

Washington has repeatedly warned all Americans to leave Russia immediately, citing the risk of wrongful detentions and harassment from Russian security services.

A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Moscow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Known to his friends as “Rob,” Woodland was adopted from Russia in 1993 by American parents, he told a Russian newspaper in 2020.

Woodland, who appears to have both Russian and American passports, said he had returned to Russia to meet his biological mother. Their tearful reunion was broadcast on Russian state television.

A Facebook account in the name of Robert Woodland indicated that he had been working as an English teacher in Russia, and lived outside Moscow.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Maxim Rodionov and Lucy Papachristou; Editing by Andrew Osborn)