Suspected Russian agent has ties to South Dakota businessman

A conservative political operative who once worked on Pat Buchanan's 1992 presidential campaign and made an action movie with Jack Abramoff more recently helped arrange several speeches in South Dakota for a gun-rights activist suspected of being a covert Russian agent.

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 7:01 PM

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A conservative political operative who once worked on Pat Buchanan's 1992 presidential campaign and made an action movie with Jack Abramoff more recently helped arrange several speeches in South Dakota for a gun-rights activist suspected of being a covert Russian agent.

South Dakota businessman Paul Erickson in 2015 helped set up at least three events for accused Russian operative Maria Butina and formed a company with her in the state the following year.

Butina awaits trial on charges of conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia. A judge on Wednesday ordered Butina held in jail as the case proceeds.

The case raises questions about her connections to South Dakota and to Erickson, who hasn't returned telephone messages this week from The Associated Press requesting comment.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

7/18/2018 6:54:31 PM (GMT -5:00)

Article Comments

Huntsville
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 86°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 92°
Fayetteville
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 85°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 87°
Scottsboro
Few Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 92°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Community Events