July 8, 2010 -- The 10 Russian spies who pleaded guilty Thursday in one of the biggest spy ring busts in recent history, boarded a plane chartered by the U.S. government Thursday evening with a flight plan for Vienna.
They were accompanied by U.S. Marshals who will keep them in custody until they are turned over to the Russians in first spy swap between the U.S. and Russia in 24 years.
In Moscow, at least four Russians accused of spying for the CIA were to be sent west today. One is Igor Sutyagin, a nuclear arms scientist who continued to maintain his innocence and was described as depressed because now he will not have a chance to prove his innocence.
All 10 spies pleaded guilty in a New York court Thursday afternoon to one criminal count of conspiracy to act as unregistered agents of a foreign country. They were sentenced to time already served, which amounted to 11 days.
Before their guilty pleas, the 10 spies met with Russian diplomats to discuss the life they'd have when they returned to Russia, according to their attorneys.
In the case of Vicky Pelaez, believed to be the only spy not born in Russia, her attorney told the court that she has been given special assurances from the Russian government that she would be given free housing in Russia, a monthly stipend of $2000 for life, visas with her children, and an all-expense paid trip for her children to travel to Russia.
Robert Baum, an attorney for Anna Chapman, said she is "happy to get out of jail" and may move to Britain after being sent home to Russia today.
During the court hearing, Chapman sat in the second tier of the jury box in a beige prison smock, repeatedly playing with her rust red hair.
The 28-year-old beauty made international headlines with her femme fatale looks, party hopping, and sex pictures released by an ex-husband in Britain.
Chapman's mother, Irina Kushenko, said her daughter will arrive by noon Friday in Moscow.
Peter Krupp, an attorney for suspect Donald Heathfield, said he expects Heathfield will be on a 7pm flight to Moscow this evening.
It's still not known what will happen to the children of the spies, who caught in a very real chess game being played out between the two countries.
"That's the most unfortunate aspect of this," said Jeffrey Burds, a professor of Russian history at Northeastern University. "I cannot imagine a scenario in which the children, however smart they were, would have been clued in as to the existence of or the nature of their parents' relations."
Juan Lazaro, the 17-year-old son of spies Vicki Pelaez and Juan Lazaro, is an accomplished classical pianist who lives with his parents in Yonkers, NY. Two of the other spies couples have young children.
Russian Spies Plead Guilty
Bob Baer, a former CIA agent, told "Good Morning America" that he believes all of the accused Russian spies will, at the end of the day, go home.
The "worst thing is if some of these Russians refuse to go home, which is possible with some of these children, and ask for political asylum," Baer said.
This case is unique, he said, because there were so many arrests at one time.
"I don't know what happened to Russia," Baer said. "I checked around with my former colleagues that follow Russians and they are just totally surprised. The fact that the FBI for in their communications is extraordinary, or was able to actually meet them and pretend to be Russians. They were completely, totally compromised, and this is going to cause an enormous scandal in Moscow, or it should."
It's been 24 years since the last publicized spy swap between the U.S. and Russia, carried out on a bridge between then East and West Berlin.
"Many of these have been done in secret, but this one has created a lot of publicity and everyone just wants this to go away now," said former CIA Russian analyst Mark Stout.
Alexander Marquardt, Joseph Rhee, Lee Ferran and Matthew Cole contributed to this report.