A Novi man has been detained by Russian authorities and accused of espionage. His  twin brother says his brother is not a spy.

Paul Whelan was arrested in Moscow on Friday, December 28 by the Russian government, who says he was 'on a spy mission'. The 48 year old Whelan is a US Marine, no longer on active duty, who also served in law enforcement in Washtenaw County. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

According to his twin brother, David Whelan, Paul was in Russia for a wedding, and was assigned the task of helping people get around in the Russian capital because he had traveled in Russia before and knew the lay of the land.

"What warned us was that my parents hadn’t heard from him as of last Friday," David Whelan told the Detroit free Press. "They would have expected pictures from the wedding or a follow-up on how the dog’s vet visit had gone. It was just suddenly really silent."

Whelan's family first found out about the arrest on Monday. The US Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, has visited with Whelan to make sure he is okay.