Maria Butina Will Plead Guilty to Conspiracy Charge

Alleged Russian spy reaches deal with feds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2018 6:50 AM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2018 7:00 AM CST
In this April 21, 2013, photo, Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An alleged spy accused of trying to infiltrate American organizations including the NRA might be on her way back to Russia soon. Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist who was arrested in July and is currently being held in solitary confinement at a federal facility in Alexandria, Va., has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors, NPR reports. She has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to act as a Russian agent on American soil without registering with authorities—and to testify in front of a grand jury if federal prosecutors ask her to. More:

  • The sentence. Butina faces a maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charges, though she is expected to serve much less under the deal, which still has to be approved by a judge. Her lawyers are asking for a maximum of six months, CBS News reports. The charge is a felony, so the 30-year-old will likely be deported when she is freed.

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