Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty to Drug Charges in Russian Court
Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in prison after a Russian court convicted the WNBA star on drug charges, stemming from her February arrest at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.
On Aug. 4, the court found Griner guilty of drug possession and smuggling and also found that she committed the crime deliberately. In addition to the nine-year sentencing, she received a 1 million ruble fine ($16,000) for conscious drug smuggling and possession.
The decision was announced shortly after closing arguments, during which Russian prosecutors asked for Griner to get nine and a half years in prison on the cannabis possession charges.
In February, Brittney was arrested in Moscow after local authorities said they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her belongings.
Since the Phoenix Mercury star was arrested, her wife, Cherelle Griner, has been tirelessly supporting her through the ordeal, sharing that she has been in communication with U.S. officials to try to get her spouse freed.
On July 4, Brittney penned a letter to President Joe Biden, writing that she is “terrified I might be here forever.”
“I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees,” she wrote in the letter, which was obtained by E! News. “Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family!