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US soldier detained in Russia pleads guilty, official says

Gordon Black, a US Army soldier, was arrested in eastern Russia in May.

LONDON — Gordon Black, the American soldier detained in Russia, has pleaded guilty to theft, a Russian official confirmed to ABC News.

Black pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the investigation, the Primorsky Territory Internal Affairs Department told ABC News.

“Black pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the investigation. Communication is carried out with the help of an English translator. The investigation continues,” said Irina Syrova, a representative of the department, in a telephone conversation with ABC News.

Black was arrested in Vladivostok, Russia, earlier this month on charges of criminal misconduct, according to the U.S. military. His detention should last at least until July 2, according to the court. His lawyer appealed his detention last week.

Two U.S. officials told ABC News this month that Black, a staff sergeant, had been stationed in South Korea before going on temporary leave. He was not allowed to travel to Russia, the officials said.

Black had traveled to Russia to visit his girlfriend, the 35-year-old’s mother, Melody Jones, told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” ​​last week.

TASS reported Thursday that Black and the woman had a disagreement while he visited her in Vladivostok, a Far Eastern city close to the borders with China and North Korea.

“After Black left, his friend discovered the missing money and turned to law enforcement for help,” TASS reported. “Police found the robbery suspect in one of the city’s hotels.”

Black had purchased a round-trip flight, the outlet said.

ABC News’ Ellie Kaufma, Joe Simonetti, Leah Sarnoff, Mark Guarino and Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.

News Source : abcnews.go.com
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