Alexander Bortnikov cooked mephedrone at his grandfather’s dacha
— Bortnikov, do you understand the verdict? — Yes, — a cheerful voice comes from the cage.
January 11 in the Yaroslavl Regional Court announced the verdict 29-year-old ex-deputy Alexander Bortnikov and his friends – 27-year-old Artem Lebedev and 22 year old Egor Tarasov. They set up a drug lab and brewed mephedrone.
— To recognize each guilty of a crime. <...> Bortnikov Alexander was sentenced to 15 years and three months in prison without deprivation of the right to hold certain positions and engage in certain activities, without a fine, – Judge Evgeny Balaev announced the verdict. – The term of punishment is considered from the date of entry into force of the sentence.
Lebedev was given 15 years and 3 months, and Tarasov – 10 years and 3 months in prison. All three will serve their sentences in a strict regime colony.
Shop with drugs at the grandfather’s dacha
At the beginning of 11 am, people began to gather in the large hall of the regional court. The mother of one of the guys appeared at the door – a platinum blonde with a persistent perfume. A little later, Bortnikov’s father, also a former deputy, came in. He hid from the crowd, called a lot and hid his eyes from prying eyes. Hard and nervously accepting reality.
Parents, wives, grandparents, even distant relatives gathered in court to hear the decision in the case.
As investigators have established, the general director of the Elite Kvartal publication, ex-deputy of United Russia, Alexander Bortnikov, together with the son of the director of Yaroslavl Paints and Coatings, Yegor Tarasov and Artem Lebedev, organized a drug laboratory. They fully admitted their guilt.
Father Alexander Bortnikov Igor was a deputy of the municipality of Yaroslavl. He owns the Elite Quarter magazine, founded a real estate agency and a charitable foundation for helping animals “Life is given for good deeds.” Bortnikov Sr. is also the president of the Yaroslavl tennis club. After the detention of his son, he did not run for election to the new municipality.
A workshop for the manufacture of mephedrone was set up at the dacha of Bortnikov’s grandfather, in a house in the Gavrilov-Yamsky district of the Yaroslavl region.
The judge insisted on several occasions that the crime was premeditated. After ten minutes of monotonous reading of the text of the verdict, Yevgeny Balaev perked up and began to scold the newly sentenced. “The lawyers said that there was an attempt on this or that crime. No, this is a complete crime, according to the court. And why production? But because it really was a production, and not a mixture of two components, the judge reproached the guys. – The house of grandfather Bortnikov was found, equipment was purchased, this equipment was assembled. This is a whole production! Lawyers said that they had no chemical education. You don’t need a chemistry degree.
The business went unnoticed from September 2021 to January 2022. After the January holidays, they were covered by FSB officers.
The security forces seized equipment, raw materials for drugs and the first batch of goods. They found a sickly blank: 17 kilograms of prohibited substances and 112 kilograms of precursors.
Precursors of narcotic drugs are substances used for the preparation of narcotic and psychotropic substances.
“The organizers of the crime have not been identified. They involved Lebedev in the crime, later Lebedev, having agreed to equip premises for the production of narcotic drugs, attracted Bortnikov to this activity. Tarasov was the last to be involved. All instructions came from Bortnikov and Lebedev, they received recipes, manufacturing methods, and locations of drug precursors via instant messengers. Tarasov was not aware of this, but he took part in the proceedings,” the prosecutor said. The judge noted that Bortnikov did not fully realize what had been done.
After the first interrogations, it became clear that according to the articles presented, all three can sit down for 20 years or even get a life sentence. But the judge gave a more lenient sentence.
– The minimum penalty has been imposed. Yes, positive characteristics, fifth, tenth, all this is taken into account. And if this were not the case, then there could be 18 years, and 20 years. I don’t know how much,” the judge reasoned after the verdict was announced.
The youngest Tarasov was given the least.
– Here, with all that they have done, the role of Tarasov, as it were, evokes some kind of pity. They just used it for their own purposes. This is not in the case file, but how can you guess, why did they come to him in the army? They are not the closest comrades. We arrived, found out what he wants to do, – the judge explained. – Surely, they already had a plan to take Tarasov. As he explained, he did what he was told, was on errands.
– This is all in a non-contact way through the caches. Also, an unidentified person sent information via instant messengers that there was a cache of precursors, equipment, and so on in a certain place,” said Elena Leonidova, prosecutor of the criminal court department of the Yaroslavl Region Prosecutor’s Office. Relatives did not know about what was happening in the village house. The uncle of the defendant Yegor Tarasov, the Olympic champion, Maxim Tarasov, speaks briefly about the case of his nephew.
“Good Guys, Nobody Argues”
For three, drug traffickers received more than 40 years of hard work. The court found that a company that did not need money lacked adrenaline.
– Good guys, yes, good, no one argues. They were. And maybe they are now. But they began to do what they could not. They began to engage in illegal activities,” the judge continued his lecture on morality. – Everything went well for everyone, and, apparently, there was not enough for some, maybe Bortnikov, adrenaline or something else. Instead of living quietly, working, raising the children they love, they decided to earn money by producing drugs.
judge Evgeny Balaev
Those present accepted the judge’s decision and reasoning in silence. The wife of Bortnikov Jr. quietly wiped her tears with a long sleeve of a woolen sweater. The girl did not take her eyes off the cage with her lover.
– Bortnikov said in his testimony that he had not killed anyone. Yes, he himself did not kill anyone, but 17 kilograms, if the FSB officers had not stopped this crime, even one gram, and the dose is even less. More than 20,000 people would buy these drugs. Where would they get the money to buy it? Or maybe someone was killed and property was seized. From here you can see what the guilt is – he killed or did not kill, – the judge continued to explain his decision.
At the same time, Lebedev’s past article on drugs was not taken into account. A few years ago, a guy got a criminal record for purchasing substances for personal use.
– It [дело] was also connected with the illegal circulation of narcotic drugs for personal consumption, but now the criminal record has been canceled and at the time of the crime he was considered not convicted, – explained the state prosecutor in the case, Elena Leonidova.
“feared the worst”
Before leaving the courtroom, the relatives began to take off their masks and smile at the criminals. Each family took the verdict differently.
– Have you seen the verdicts in such cases? It should have been less,” Igor Bortnikov emotionally answered 76.RU.
But grandmother Tarasova admitted that her expectations were not met.
“I was afraid of the worst,” the gray-haired woman said curtly.
Unexpected for those present was the appearance of 52-year-old athlete, Olympic champion Maxim Tarasov. He turned out to be a relative of one of the convicts.
Every soul incarnates to experience adventure. Sometimes adventures are funny, sometimes sad. Here the guys will already experience. And before that, there were adventures for them, and ahead for them will be long, long, interesting. And for parents, and for grandparents, – the athlete told reporters.
Lawyers declined to comment.
The verdict did not enter into force. Bortnikov, Lebedev and Tarasov can still appeal against the court’s decision.