Internet InfoMedia american soldier arrested in russia sentenced to nearly four years in prison

An American solider arrested in Russia earlier this year was sentenced to nearly four years in prison on Wednesday, according to Russian state media via The Associated Press.

Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, 34, will serve three years and nine months in a Russian penal colony for theft and threats of murder charges alleged by his girlfriend, Alexandra Vashchuk. He pleaded partially guilty to the theft charge, but denied threatening murder.

He was also ordered to pay $115 in damages, according to court reports from RIA Novosti and Tass.

Prosecutors pushed for Black to be sentenced to four years and eight months in prison, while defense lawyers asked that he be acquitted of all charges.

TRIAL UNDERWAY FOR US SOLDIER ARRESTED IN RUSSIA ON THEFT CHARGES

Gordon Black escorted by Russian police

Army Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, 34, was sentenced in a Russian court to three years and nine months for theft and threats of murder charges alleged by his girlfriend, Alexandra Vashchuk. (Associated Press)

Black, who flew to Vladivostok, Russia, to see Vashchuk, was detained on May 2 after she accused him of stealing from her.

Vashchuk told reporters a few weeks ago that Black “became aggressive and attacked her” during a “simple domestic dispute,” which led to him allegedly taking money from her wallet without her permission, the AP reported.

Pentagon policy states that service members cannot travel internationally without clearance from a security manager or commander. Black did not seek clearance and his trip to Russia was not authorized by the Department of Defense, according to an earlier statement from the U.S. Army.

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Black, who was on leave at the time, traveled to Russia “for personal reasons” after he signed out from Camp Humphreys in South Korea to return to his home base in Texas, Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith said.

Army staff Sgt. Gordon Black in Russian courtroom

Black was arrested in Russia on May 2 after a dispute with his girlfriend. (Associated Press)

He met his girlfriend, who is Russian, while he was stationed in South Korea despite having a wife and a child back home, U.S. officials have said.

She left South Korea last fall after getting into “some type of domestic dispute or altercation” with Black, the AP reported. It’s unclear if South Korean authorities had any hand in her leaving the country.

Black’s sentencing adds another level of tension to an already complicated relationship with Russia, which is strained by the war against Ukraine and the handful of Americans in Russian jails.

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Black joins Paul Whelan, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, musician Travis Leake, teacher Marc Fogel and dual nationals Alsu Kurmasheva and Ksenia Khavana behind bars in Russia.

Whelan and Gershkovich.

Paul Whelan (left) and Evan Gershkovich (right) are two Americans the U.S. has declared as wrongfully detained in Russia. (Fox News Digital)

The U.S. government has declared Whelan and Gershkovich as wrongfully detained and is working to negotiate their release.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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