By Paulina Dedaj
Published September 10, 2019
A college student from New York was reportedly arrested in Russia for possession of marijuana after authorities say her “patent” for medicinal use of the drug “does not apply” in the eastern European country.
Audrey Eliza Lorber, 19, was taken into custody at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg after authorities found 19 grams of medical marijuana - worth an estimated $375 - in her possession, the New York Post reported citing a press release from the Moscow District Court of St. Petersburg.
It was unclear when Lorber, who appeared to be traveling with her mother Rochelle Lorber, was arrested. The press release from the court was dated September 2.
Pictures on Lorber’s now-private social media were last shared on July 22 in St. Petersburg.
Russian officials said that regardless of her medicinal use of the drug, the "patent for marijuana use in a medical program issued in the United States that the accused carried with her does not apply to the territory of the Russian Federation," the statement read according to NBC New York.
The State Department issued a statement to Fox News Tuesday acknowledging the arrest of a U.S. citizen in St. Petersburg but declined to give further details.
"We are aware of reports that a U.S. citizen was arrested in St. Petersburg. We take seriously our responsibility to assist U.S. citizens abroad. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment," the statement read.
Court documents appear to show a case naming Lorber submitted to a Moscow court on August 30. That same day a judge reviewed the case and on Monday, a court date was set for September 16.
According to Lorber’s Facebook page, she is from Staten Island but attends Pace University in New York City.
Her mother last shared pictures of the pair at Palacio Nicolaievsky, a performance art theater in St. Petersburg, on July 1.
Rochelle Lorber declined to comment, fearing that doing so would "anger" the Russian government which would "only hurt my daughter."
An Israeli-American woman, Naama Issachar, 25, has been held in Russia since last April after police found more than 9 grams of cannabis in her checked baggage when she was attempting to fly home to Tel Aviv from Russia.