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 Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow. Butina, 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 and working to establish back-channel lines of communications for the Kremlin, federal prosecutors charged July 16. (AP Photo)

A federal magistrate judge in Washington ordered a Russian woman detained Wednesday, pending her trial on charges she served as a covert agent for Moscow while living in the United States.

In front of a packed courtroom, U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson of the District of Columbia sided with prosecutors’ view that the woman, Maria Butina, posed a flight risk, in part because of connections to Russian intelligence that the Justice Department laid out in a filing submitted just hours before the hearing.

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C. Ryan Barber

C. Ryan Barber, based in Washington, covers government affairs and regulatory compliance. Contact him at [email protected]. On Twitter: @cryanbarber

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