Judge sets April sentencing in Russian secret agent case

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian gun-rights activist who admitted she was a secret agent for the Kremlin is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Maria Butina appeared briefly in federal court in Washington on Thursday. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan set Butina’s sentencing for April 26.

Butina pleaded guilty in December to a conspiracy charge and agreed to cooperate with U.S. investigators.

She told the judge she and former Russian lawmaker Alexander Torshin used their contacts in the National Rifle Association to pursue back channels to American conservatives during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Butina’s case is separate from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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