Accused Russian Agent Maria Butina 'Wanted to Influence Society,' Sister Says - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Accused Russian Agent 'Wanted to Influence Society': Sister

She was arrested last year after building a network within the U.S. National Rifle Association

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    Maria Butina last month pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an undisclosed agent of Russia in the U.S., but her parents told NBC News they can't believe she knowingly worked on the Kremlin's behalf.

    Butina's family in Russia said she was an ambitious student who enjoyed sports, reading "Harry Potter" and Ray Bradbury books and shooting. She founded Russian pro-gun rights group Right to Bear Arms in 2011.

    “She wanted to influence society,” her sister said.

    Butina was arrested last year after building a network within the U.S. National Rifle Association, admitting that she established "unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics … for the benefit of the Russian Federation."

    Covert Russian Agent Maria Butina Arrested: AP Explains

    [NATL] Covert Russian Agent Maria Butina Arrested: AP Explains

    A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on American officials and political organizations, federal prosecutors charged Monday.

    (Published Thursday, July 19, 2018)

    Russia's government has denied that she has ties to official government conduct.