Butina sentenced on spying charges
Maria Butina, a Russian who admitted to secretly working for the Kremlin to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups, was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison. Butina, who has been jailed since her arrest in July 2018, pleaded guilty in December to a single charge of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent and asked for credit for timed served. But U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan imposed a sentence that would require her to spend an additional nine months behind bars before being deported.
Butina’s lawyers decried the judgment as overly harsh, characterizing Butina as a naive but ambitious international affairs student who simply didn’t realize her actions required her to register as an agent of a foreign government. Chutkan said the sentence was meant “to reflect the seriousness of [Butina’s actions] and to promote deterrence.”
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