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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Charges May Be Lodged Against U.S. Student

New charges may be brought against an American graduate student arrested in the city of Voronezh last month and accused of possessing marijuana, a news report said Sunday.

Andrei Makarov, the senior investigator in the case, told Interfax that fresh charges may be lodged against John Tobin before the investigation is completed. He did not specify what new charges may be brought.

Makarov said he did not intend to release Tobin on bail or against a written pledge not to leave the city.

He said the investigation of the case against Tobin, a 24-year native of Ridgefield, Conneticut, would likely be completed by the end of March. "The investigation is proceeding and will soon reach a proper finale," Makarov told Interfax.

Tobin's case has attracted attention because Russia's Federal Security Service said he had ties to U.S. intelligence services. However, the agency stressed that he was not caught spying and no espionage charges would be filed.

Tobin was arrested on Feb. 1 on suspicion of possessing 4.5 grams of marijuana. Officials said he will also be charged with distribution, which could mean selling marijuana or giving it free to friends. Tobin faces 10 years in a Russian prison if convicted.

Tobin is being held in a jail in Voronezh, about 475 kilometers south of Moscow. In Russia, suspects are usually held for more than a year before trial, although previous cases against foreigners have been expedited.