Brittney Griner is an eight-time WNBA All-Star who currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury. Griner has also played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia during the offseason since 2015.
Griner was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport on Feb. 17, 2022, after the Federal Security Service claimed she was carrying vaporizer cartridges containing hashish oil.
Griner has now been held in Russia for over 130 days. On May 15, it was reported that the United States and Russia would consider a prisoner swap, with Russia exchanging Griner for arms dealer Viktor Bout.
During her trial on 7 July, Griner pled guilty and then said, “But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law.”
Griner faces up to ten years in prison if convicted of the charge. Her next court appearance is scheduled for July 14.
Given the reported 99% conviction rate in Russian criminal cases, Griner was urged to consider all options, including a plea that could result in a shorter conviction.