News / USA

10 Alleged Russian Spies Arrested in United States

The 10 people arrested over the weekend in several U.S. eastern states on charges of conspiring to spy for Russia appeared in federal court on Monday, five of them in New York City.

The five defendants entered a packed courtroom that included five defense attorneys, up to 20 federal agents, family members of the accused and members of the media and the public.

All of those taken into custody are charged with conspiracy to act as agents of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. attorney general.  If they are convicted, they could be sentenced up to five years in prison.

All of the defendants who appeared in the New York court except one, Anna Chapman, are also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years of prison.

The main issue before the magistrate was whether bail should be granted the defendants prior their hearings.  All of the defendants except Chapman postponed their bail hearing until Thursday.

Chapman's attorney, Robert Baum, argued vigorously to have the charges against her dropped and to have her released on bail pending her trial.  The judge said that Chapman posed a flight risk and her motions were denied.

Three other defendants appeared in U.S. District Court in Virginia and two others appeared before a federal court in Massachusetts.

One of the 11 people accused of involvement in the spy ring, one remains at large.

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