October 7, 2022

WNBA it was superstar Brittney Griner sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for drug possession and trafficking. Griner was found guilty of the charges in court and finally received her sentence on Thursday.

Griner was arrested in February for carrying cannabis vapor cartridges on a plane while playing for her longtime overseas team UMMC Ekaterinburg. Griner said she made an honest mistake by carrying the vaping cartridges while traveling. Russian prosecutors had asked for 9.5 years before the ruling. The time she has served in custody since her arrest will count toward her sentence.

The United States and Russia have been engaged in discussions about a possible deal surrounding her release, but no agreement has yet been reached. Earlier this summerit was reported that the White House had offered to release Russian international arms dealer Victor Bout in exchange for Griner and fellow American prisoner Paul Whelan.

Griner has played for UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2014 during the WNBA offseason.

President Biden issued the following statement following the sentencing:

Griner was carrying two cartridges each containing one gram of cannabis oil. Americans can legally buy the same cartridges of hemp oil he carried in 19 states for recreational purposes.

We’ll update this story as it develops.

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