sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of smuggling drugs with criminal intent. The center for the Phoenix Mercury, Griner was arrested at a Russian airport in February, when she arrived in the country to play for one of its basketball teams during the WNBA off-season.
There were vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage; cannabis is illegal in Russia.She has testified that she brought the substance in by accident and that she did not intend to break any laws.
She had pleaded guilty to the charges in hopes of getting a lighter sentence than the 10-year maximum. The U.S. State Department considers her “wrongfully detained” and has been working to free her, possibly with a prisoner swap.President Biden released this statement: “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.
It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.