Brittney griner has been sentenced to nine-years in prison. The sentence comes after a Russian court convicted Griner of drug offenses. These charges stemmed from her February arrest at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Griner was found guilty of drug possession and smuggling on Aug. 4. The court also determined that Griner committed the crime intentionally. Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison and a 1,000,000 ruble ($16,000) fine for conscious drug smuggling.
View the Visual Format: WNBA’s Brittney Griner Sentenced to 9 Years in Russian
After closing arguments, Griner was asked by Russian prosecutors to spend nine-and-a-half years in prison for cannabis possession charges.
Brittney was detained in Moscow in February after authorities found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil within her possessions.
Cherelle Griner has been supporting her husband since her arrest. She shared that she had been in contact with U.S. officials to help her spouse get freed.
Brittney wrote a July 4 letter to President Joe Biden. She expressed her fear that she might not be here for ever.
She wrote that she understood what you were dealing with, but please remember about me and other American Detainees. The letter was obtained by E! News. News. I voted in 2020 for the first time and voted for you. I believe in you. You can do so much for my freedom. My wife is missing me! I miss my family! My teammates are my family! It hurts me to see how they are feeling right now. “I am grateful to you for doing whatever you can to help me get home.”
After receiving the letter, President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris responded by saying they spoke to Cherelle via phone on July 6. According to NBC News, they assured her that he was working to get Brittney released as soon possible.
Brittney pleaded guilty the next day to the drug charges during her hearing. According to Reuters who was present at the hearing, the basketball player said that she would plead guilty to the drug charges. There was no intention. “I didn’t intend to violate the law.”
According to Reuters, she reportedly said, “I’d love to give my testimony late.” I need to prepare.
After the -athlete’s plea was received, her lawyer Maria Blagovolina stated to NBC News that she expected leniency from the court. She said, “We expect leniency from the court, taking all the circumstances into consideration and taking into consideration the personality of our client.”
Multiple sources have told CNN that President Biden had offered Russia an exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout . Viktor Bout is currently in a 25-year sentence in the U.S. Prison.
CNN was told by an anonymous senior administration official that they had made a substantial offer and believed it could succeed based on the history of our conversations with Russians. “We communicated this a few weeks ago, in June.”
According to the official, the trade could only succeed if Russia is “responsive to it.” He added, “But that doesn’t leave us passive. We continue to communicate our offer at very high levels.”