Russian spy Maria Butina, who used her sexuality and obsession with guns to get close to influential conservative politicians and groups, walked out of a U.S jail today (Oct. 25) and is on he way back to Russia.
The 30-year-old redhead, who developed close ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) , was handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to make way for her trip back home.
|Maria Butina Sexy Seductress (Click Photos to Enlarge!)|
Butina posed as a Russian gun-rights advocate, even though gun ownership in the Kremlin is strictly controlled. But her real goal, she later admitted, was to curry influence through the NRA and ultimately to establish a back channel to Donald Trump’s campaign.
In December a year ago, a grand jury charged her with working as an agent of the Russian government. She was accused of acting under the direction of Alexander Torshin, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Federal prosecutors argued she provided intelligence to the Kremlin through her contact with Torshin.
She later pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent and was sentenced to 18 months in prison in April.
The nine months she served in a Virginia jail was added to her sentence. She was arrested in July 2018.
This morning, she was finally released from Federal Correction Institute Tallahasee, a low security prison in Florida.
Her lawyer, Robert Driscol, told the conservative Washington Examiner he expected her to board a plane for Moscow, as early as Saturday (Oct. 26).
Her mother, sister and likely Russian security agents are expected to meet her once she touches down.
But the Russian Embassy in Washington, warned that the expulsion process could take “several days,” according to reports and its Facebook page.
“As we understand, Maria will be sent through a deportation center where she will spend some time awaiting departure,” the embassy shared on Facebook.
Butina very calculatedly used a “guns ‘n sex” strategy when she engaged in a campaign to build influence among Republican Party operatives and their biggest GOP constituent group, the NRA.
She frequently peppered her social media pages with sexy, glamour photos–often posing with guns–and reportedly made offers of sex to gain access to officials, according to federal authorities.
She also worked closely with GOP operative Paul Erickson, who has been widely reported to be Butina’s “boyfriend,” and is now considered a “co-conspirator.”
The 56-year-old GOP operative’s relationship with Butina was clearly sexual, but the Russian appeared to view the liaison as means to further her ends.
Court filings filed following her arrest stated that “Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities.”
Butina had “expressed disdain for continuing to co-habitate with” the American man, according to documents seized by the FBI.
“On at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than Erickson “sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization.” The National Rifle Association is widely believed to be the organization.