Criminal Election Meddling

The Federal Government has handed down indictments charging 13 Russian individuals and 3 Russian companies with activities that were meant to, “sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”

In other words they spread negative information about the candidates, including Hillary and Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Apparently this activity is a criminal offense, so my question is why are we not throwing every person running for a political office in jail for doing the exact same thing by running negative ads against their opponents?