WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested on February 17 just one week before Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and entered a guilty plea this week. The basketball player was returning to the country to suit up for a Russian team which many WNBA stars do to supplement their incomes.
Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges on Thursday (July 7) and admitted to bringing cannabis into the country after two cannabis vape cartridges were found in her luggage. The cartridges contained small amounts of hash oil for her personal use. Griner told authorities that she packed too quickly and did not intend to bring the cartridges, adding that she did not intend to break the law, according to NPR.
Griner entered the guilty pleas at the second court appearance after a Russian judge ordered her to be detained for the length of the trial which could have been up to two months. Another hearing is scheduled for next Thursday. The Olympic medalist faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The Biden administration and others have alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin arrested the star to use her as leverage during the war.
The basketball star asked the White House for help in a handwritten letter which was delivered to administration officials on the 4th of July. Additionally, the president also spoke to Griner’s wife, Cherelle, telling her that freeing Griner and other American detainees is a top priority of the administration.
There have been talks about a possible prisoner swap of Griner and a Russian arms dealer named Victoria Bout who was known as the “Merchant of Death.”
However, Russian officials said that no swap will be considered until a verdict has been reached in Griner’s case.
WNBA Star Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges In Russia was originally published on hiphopwired.com