A spy scandal without a lot actual spying drew nearer to a close in lower Manhattan on Thursday afternoon, as all ten members of the recently busted Russian ring pled guilty to charges of operating as unregistered foreign agents. Their pleas are part of a planned prisoner swap with Russia. More serious charges of money laundering were dropped; the spies will be deported and will serve no further prison time.
The Russians agreed to release four people who were in prison for spying for Western countries. Unlike the suburban men and women working inside the United States, most the men being released by the Russians actually committed some major works of espionage.
Vicky Pelaez, a Peruvian national and the only non-Russian brought up on U.S. charges, will be settled in whatever country she chooses, her lawyer told the court, with a $2,000 monthly stipend for the rest of her life.