Official says US soldier detained in Russia pleads guilty

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

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

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

“Black has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the investigation. Contact is being made with the assistance of an English translator. The investigation is ongoing,” Irina Serova, a department representative, said in a phone call with ABC News.

Black was arrested in Vladivostok, Russia, earlier this month on charges of criminal misconduct, according to the US military. He is expected to remain in detention until at least July 2, according to the court. His lawyer appealed his arrest decision last week.

Two US officials told ABC News this month that Black, a staff sergeant, was stationed in South Korea before going on temporary leave. Officials said he did not have permission to travel to Russia.

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

TASS reported on Thursday that Black had an argument with the woman while he was visiting her in Vladivostok, a city in the far east near the borders with China and North Korea.

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“After Black left, his friend discovered the missing money and turned to law enforcement for help,” TASS reported. “The police found the suspect in the robbery in a hotel in the city.”

Black purchased a return flight, the outlet said.

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

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