In this April 21, 2013 file 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/File

Russian sentenced to 18 months for being agent for Kremlin

April 26, 2019 - 11:40 am

By Ashraf Khalik, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian woman who admitted to being a secret agent for the Kremlin has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Maria Butina has been jailed since her July 2018 arrest and will get credit for time served. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan also ordered Butina deported after she completes her sentence.

Chutkan said she was imposing the sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offense and to promote deterrence.

Butina pleaded guilty last year to a conspiracy charge and admitted she covertly gathered intelligence on the National Rifle Association and other groups at the direction of a former Russian lawmaker.

Butina said she was "ashamed and embarrassed" by her own actions.

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