Yekaterinburg police on Friday arrested on drug charges the deputy president of City Without Drugs, an anti-narcotics organization founded by the city's Mayor Yevgeny Roizman, the Investigative Committee said Friday.
Yevgeny Malenkin, 37, was arrested in the village of Zapadny in the Sverdlovsk region while he was asleep in a banya where he had stayed for two months, a regional police spokesman said.
Investigators said that in 2009 Malenkin bought heroin and arranged for it to be planted on an unidentified man in order to frame him. He faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of drug trafficking.
Malenkin left Yekaterinburg more than a year ago, saying he was going on a pilgrimage. He was put on international wanted list after police charged him with holding patients against their will at one of the organization's rehabilitation facilities in 2012. The organization's deputy president, Igor Shabalin, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison earlier this week, also for illegally detaining patients.
Roizman said Friday that charges against Malenkin had been exaggerated and that he will be released following a court hearing, RIA Novosti reported.
Police searched City Without Drugs last year and opened three criminal cases connected with its activities, in what Kremlin-critic Roizman and his supporters said was an attempt to put pressure on him and his organization.