Two men and a woman accused of being Russian spies appeared in Federal court in Virginia Friday and were ordered held without bail after they waived their right for a detention hearing.
Patricia Mills, wearing a green prisoner jumpsuit, softly said "yes, I do" when the federal judge asked if she wanted to waive her right to a detention hearing to determine if she should be released on bail.
Mills appeared pale and frightened as she sat next to her co defendant Michael Zottoli - with whom she has two young children - at the defense table. They were accompanied by their court appointed attorneys. The two didn't speak to each other. Zottoli, who has short brown hair seemed unfazed by the proceeding in a court room packed with news reporters, attorneys, law enforcement and onlookers. He also answered "yes I do" when Judge Theresa Buchanan asked him if he was waiving his right to a detention hearing. They are charged with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent and money laundering.
A third defendant Mikhail Semenko appeared separately. He stood ramrod straight and quiet and said "yes" when asked if he was waiving his right to a detention hearing. He is charged with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent.
Judge Buchanan set July 7 at 11 a.m. for a probable cause hearing in District Court in Alexandria for all three defendants. At that hearing the prosecutor must present evidence to satisfy the court that a crime has been committed and a trial should be held.
The prosecutor, assistant U.S. attorney Jason Smith, told the court that the case is going to be presented to a grand jury in the Southern District of New York, seeking an indictment against all of the defendants in the case.
Judge Buchanan ordered the three defendants held without bail finding them a flight risk. She ordered them into the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department stated in a July 2 letter to Judge Buchanan that Mills and Zottoli both admitted to FBI agents that they are Russian citizens and their names are fraudulent. Mills stated her real name is Natalia Pereverzeva and Zottoli said his real name is Mikhail Kutzik according to the U.S. Government.