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U.S. pastor's sentence reduced

June 24, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A Russian court reduced the three-year prison sentence of a U.S. preacher convicted of smuggling rifle ammunition and ordered him set free.

The Moscow City Court reduced Phillip Miles' sentence to 10 months and ruled that he should be freed without serving all of it.

Miles, who has been in jail since Feb. 3, was likely to be set free today after the completion of the necessary formalities, his lawyer said, and he will be allowed to leave Russia.

A pastor at the Christ Community Church in Conway, S.C., Miles was convicted in April after security officers at a Moscow airport found a box of .300-caliber cartridges in his luggage.

He repeatedly apologized, saying that the ammunition was for a Russian friend who had recently bought a Winchester rifle and that he did not know bringing such ammunition into the country was illegal.

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