WASHINGTON –A citizen of the Russian Federation, who was convicted of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, was removed from the U.S. Friday, pursuant to a judicial removal order, by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Mariia Valeryevna Butina departed from Miami International Airport on a direct flight to Moscow at approximately 6 p.m. EDT.
On July 15, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested and charged Butina with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government within the U.S. without prior notification to the Attorney General. Butina was indicted July 17, 2018, for acting as an agent of a foreign government and with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government.
On April 26, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia convicted Butina, pursuant to a plea agreement, of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government and issued a judicial order of removal. Butina completed her sentence and entered ICE custody Oct. 25, 2019, and ICE removed her to Russia that same day.
ICE removed or returned 258,085 aliens in fiscal year 2018. ERO arrested 158,581 aliens, 90 percent of whom had criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, or previously issued final orders. The overall arrest figure represents an 11 percent increase over fiscal year 2017.
ICE is focused on removing public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.