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Maria Butina, accused of spying for Russia, to be sentenced in April

Suspected Russian spy pleads guilty in U.S.

Washington  Maria Butina, who has been accused of spying for Russia, will be sentenced on April 26, District of Columbia Judge Tanya Chutkan announced Thursday.

A bespectacled Butina appeared before the court wearing her green prison uniform with a white undershirt.  

In December, Butina pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy. As part of the plea agreement, she was also to cooperate with the Justice Department's investigation, which is not related to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. Her lawyers have asked for a sentence of 0 to 6 months, and this is a felony conviction, so she will face deportation. 

Butina, a 30-year-old Russian national, was indicted and arrested in July on charges of conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent. The case was investigated by the FBI's Washington, D.C. field office, with charges brought by the U.S. attorney's office of the District of Columbia and the National Security Division of the Justice Department. 

Prosecutors alleged that Butina violated U.S. espionage laws by infiltrating U.S. political groups on behalf of a high-ranking official in Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle, Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of the Russian Central Bank. Butina pleaded not guilty to the charges.