Russian Spy Maria Butina Released From Prison & Deported Back To Russia
Maria Butina, an undercover Russian agent, was released from the Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution on Friday after serving over 15 months behind bars. According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, she is expected to be immediately deported to Moscow, Russia.
Butina, a Russian national who studied at an American University in D.C., pleaded guilty to charges surrounding a conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government. She was charged with trying to infiltrate conservative political groups like the National Rifle Association. Butina has been in custody since her initial arrest on July 15, 2018.
Butina was the first Russian citizen to be convicted of the crimes relating to the 2016 election, eliciting all kinds of reactions. Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on Butina’s sentence, referring to it as “arbitrary.” “The took, grabbed her, put the girl in jail, but there was nothing to show for it.” Putin told the state news agency Ria-Novosti.
Butina, as part of her plea deal, has cooperated with the U.S. government, even providing information about her Republican political operative boyfriend, Paul Erikson, who was indicted in a separate case for wire fraud and money laundering.
“I have three degrees but now I’m a convicted felon with no money, no job and no freedom,” Butina said at the time. “My reputation is ruined,” she stated during in court during her sentence earlier this year.