"The Russian Federal Security Service investigation department opened a criminal case against a United States citizen under article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (espionage)".
As tensions between the United States and Russia continue to build, it is now being reported by Russian news agency, TASS, that an American citizen named Paul Whelan has been detained by FSB officers.
Russias Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Monday that it has detained a U.S. citizen on suspicion of espionage.
PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the top military staff in the Russian Defense Ministry's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 18, 2018. No other details were immediately available.
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If convicted of espionage, Whelan faces up to 20 years in jail. Maria Butina allegedly tried to infiltrate the National Rifle Association in hopes of influencing US policies in favor of Moscow.
According to BBC, the U.S. Department of State confirmed that Moscow notified them of the alleged arrest, but did not confirm the arrest or the man's name.
Russian Federation has been entangled in multiple spy scandals in the West. A criminal investigation was launched against the man.