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Maria Butina sentenced to 18 months in prison on conspiracy charge

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(CNN) – A federal judge sentenced Russia national Maria Butina to 18 months in prison on Friday, after she pleaded guilty to trying to infiltrate conservative political circles and promote Russian interests before and after the 2016 presidential election.

The 30-year-old gun rights enthusiast has been incarcerated since her arrest in July.

While prosecutors have admitted that Butina is not a spy in the traditional sense, they argued that her crime still could have jeopardized national security.

Butina pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign official. She admitted to using her contacts in GOP political circles, in the National Rifle Association and at the National Prayer Breakfast to influence US relations with Russia.

As part of her plea deal, Butina has cooperated extensively with the government. A source familiar with the situation said she primarily provided information about her boyfriend, GOP political operative Paul Erickson, who was allegedly involved in her scheme.

So far, Erickson has not faced charges in DC. Erickson was indicted in February on wire fraud and money laundering charges in a separate case in South Dakota. He pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.