The pro-gun, alleged Russian agent is going to jail for 18 months.
His relatives learned of his detention from media reports.
"Butina sought to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics."
It's an embarrassing climb-down by prosecutors, but the core accusation that she spent years as an unregistered agent of the Russian government remains unresolved.
The accused Russian spy got close to at least one Congressman and a member of the Rockefeller family, who claimed last year his pro-Russia views didn’t make him a “useful idiot.”
The scandal of Russian interference in the 2016 election keeps getting weirder
Maria Butina, a Russian NRA supporter who reportedly bragged of the work she did for the Trump campaign, was arrested Sunday in Washington D.C. and charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian government.