🔴 Evan Gershkovich was detained in Russia Thursday morning

🔴 Gershkovich is a member of the Princeton High School Class of 2010

🔴 He was captain of the boys soccer team his senior year

The Wall Street Journal reporter arrested in Russia on Thursday is from Princeton.

Evan Gershkovich was detained in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg. The Federal Security Service accused him of trying to obtain classified information. The newspaper denied the allegations.

It is the first time a U.S. correspondent has been detained on spying accusations since the Cold War. The newspaper "vehemently denies" the allegations and seeks his immediate release.

According to Gershkovich's Linkedin account, he attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where he was a member of the men's soccer team. He attended Princeton High School and was a member of the Class of 2010, according to his team bio.

Gershkovich played club soccer for Princeton Union, where he helped to lead the team to the New Jersey State Championship and Region I Semifinals in 2007.

"Hearing of Evan Gershkovich's detention is very troubling. While we treasure freedom of the press here in the United States, that is not true everywhere," Princeton Mayor Mark Freda told New Jersey 101.5 in an email. "Our thoughts are with Evan, and his family. And hopefully what appears to be a politically motivated act ends soon and he regains his freedom again."

Gov. Phil Murphy in a tweet said he was "outraged" by the action.

"The Putin regime is brazenly targeting American citizens. We will do everything in our power to help bring Evan home," Murphy said.

"The detention of Evan Gershkovich is outrageous and completely unacceptable. He must be safely and immediately returned to his family. I'm working with my colleagues in the New Jersey delegation and the Administration to ensure his immediate release," Rep. Bonnie Watson-Coleman, D-12th District said in a statement.

Planet Princeton was first to report Gershkovich being from New Jersey.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is escorted by officers from the Lefortovsky court to a bus, in Moscow, Russia
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is escorted by officers from the Lefortovsky court to a bus, in Moscow, Russia (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Possible long stay in prison

Gershkovich, who covers Russia, Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations as a correspondent in The Wall Street Journal’s Moscow bureau, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of espionage.

Prominent lawyers noted that past investigations into espionage cases took a year to 18 months during which time he may be held with little contact with the outside world.

There was no immediate public comment from Washington, although a U.S. official indicated the U.S. government was aware of the situation and awaiting more information from Russia.

(Includes material copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

Play ball NJ: These MLB pros are from New Jersey

A fair amount of New Jersey born baseball players have made it to the majors. These pros, active to start the 2023 season, all have NJ roots.

How much your school district gets under Murphy's proposed 2024 budget

Gov. Phil Murphy's porposed 2024 budget includes $1 billion in new spending for school funding including pre-K funding, pension and benefits, and an additional $832 million in K-12 aid, which is listed below by county and district.

Weird things NJ taxes - and some they don't

In general, New Jersey assesses a 6.625% Sales Tax on sales of most tangible personal property, specified digital products, and certain services unless specifically exempt under New Jersey law.
However, the way the sales tax is applied in New Jersey sometimes just doesn't make sense.
New Jersey puts out an itemized list for retailers that spells out what is, and what is not, taxed. 
Perhaps because this is New Jersey, there are some bizarre and seemingly contradictory listings. 

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM