Brittney Griner Found Guilty of Drug Smuggling with Criminal Intent by Russian Court, Sentenced to 9 Years

Brittney Griner has been found guilty by a Russian court of drug smuggling with criminal intent. Griner has been sentenced to 9 years. The prosecutors had requested nine and half years for her sentence.

Before the verdict was read Griner apologized saying, “I made an honest mistake, and I hope in your ruling it does not end my life,” she said.

“I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans, and the city of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them. I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home.”

Griner was arrested in February and has been detained for 24 weeks in Russia. Griner had pled guilty to the charges while claiming that she had made a mistake while rushing to pack for her stay in Russia. She provided a prescription for the cannabis oil she had brought with her.

Griner has also continued to remark that it was an honest mistake and that she did not intend to break Russian law. The Biden administration has been in talks with Russia over securing the release of Griner in a prisoner exchange.

The original offer made by the United States was met with a counter offer requesting the U.S. secure the release of a convicted murderer. The exchange talks seemed to have stalled after this point, however, with Griner’s conviction now in this may motivate the Biden Administration to do more.

Biden has already issued an executive order in an effort to help Griner and all those Americans who are wrongfully detained across the globe.

Griner was set to play for a Russian team during the WNBA’s offseason. She never made it out of the Russian airport as she was quickly detained when cannabis oil cartridges were found in her luggage.

Her arrest in Russia came just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Many in the west see her detainment as a political play, however as we previously reported she broke Russian law and they take that seriously.

It remains to be seen if Biden can secure the release of Griner, or if she will have to serve out her nine-year sentence in Russia.