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Brittney Griner sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison on drug charges [Video]




  • WNBA player Brittney Griner has been sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison after a guilty plea.
  • Griner was arrested in a Moscow airport after officials found cannabis cartridges in her luggage.
  • The Biden administration has offered a prisoner swap to free Griner, but Russia has not formally responded. 

WNBA star Brittney Griner was found guilty of drug smuggling and cannabis possession charges in a Russian court on Thursday. She was sentenced to nine years in prison. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was also fined 1,000,000 Russian rubles, which is equivalent to a little over $16,000.

Prosecutors were seeking a 9.5-year sentence for Griner. The verdict comes after a trial that lasted one month.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Biden said in a statement. “It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.

“My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

In February, Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for having vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage. Griner’s defense said that she had a medical-marijuana prescription in the U.S. and that she used the drug to help control pain from long-term injuries.

During closing arguments on Wednesday, over six months after originally being detained, the 31-year-old WNBA star told the judge that she “never meant to break any law.”

“I know everybody keeps talking about ‘political pawn’ and ‘politics,’ but I hope that is far from this courtroom,” Griner said.

In July prior to her trial, the U.S. State Department argued that Griner was “wrongfully detained. As a result, the United States moved her case to the supervision of its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken communicated with Russian Secretary of State Sergey Lavrov last week and asked him to accept a swap of Griner and Paul Whelan, an American ex-Marine currently imprisoned in Russian on charges related to an espionage conviction.

Reports say the U.S. offered to swap convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for the early release of both Griner and Whelan.

Source: NBC News



  1. Perry

    August 5, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    I wonder what Britney Griner has to say about the Good Ole USA now. I wonder if the Russians will allow Britney too kneel for their Anthem. If only she used the brain God gave her before entering Putins Paradise.

    • D.D.

      August 5, 2022 at 7:13 pm

      I agree. She has been there enough times to be full aware of her consequences if she got caught. It’s a safe bet that she’s already going away with it so many times that she just got lax in the preparation for the trip… In the US there is no excuse for ignorance and I’m sure it’s pretty much the same there anyway. If everybody else gets the same treatment for the same offense, there isn’t much else to be said about being treated fairly…
      I hope the people responsible for this swap are going to forgive themselves because the family members of the next victims of that international gunrunning spy decides to exact his revenge upon (wherever he decides to do it probably won’t …
      I do wish her luck but this is a swap that I wouldn’t want to do…

    • Joe rizzo

      August 5, 2022 at 9:25 pm

      Let her rot in prison she is not entitled .. releasing an arms dealer to a basketball player is absurd … just another reason to get these gems oit of office ASAP

    • noel mumford

      August 6, 2022 at 5:04 am

      i say let her twist in the wind…she abhors her american citizenship anyway. maybe after 9.5 years in a russian gulag, she will have a different opinion of this great country.

  2. Chad Stuart

    August 5, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    Joe Biden and his Administration needs to do whatever it takes to get her back on US soil. Furthermore I hope Griner and all other American look at this and stay out of these communist countries. To be sentenced to 9 years for this shows that she being used as a political pawn, The sad part is her faith and wellbeing is in the hands of Joe Biden. Whether you like her or not she does not deserve this political miscarriage of Justice!!

    • D.D.

      August 5, 2022 at 7:20 pm

      Whatever happens to Griner will be if nobodies fault but her own… Nobody told he to break international law and the only way it is actually unfair is if others that are arrested for the same crime are charged differently. She got caught and and she knew the law…
      I hope that gunrunning murdering spy doesn’t get released for her… Hell Jill alot of people in the process of exacting revenge for getting locked up…
      Don’t get me wrong though compared to how the law works here she would have been sight released so I really do wish her well…

    • Lynn Beaver

      August 5, 2022 at 9:04 pm

      She knew the law well in advance of her trip and yet intentionally broke the law of another country. Serve your time in shut up.

    • jaoquin

      August 6, 2022 at 2:21 pm

      Please explain using your convoluted, liberal, one molecule mind, how this is a “political miscarriage of justice”. As I, and most reasonably intelligent folks see it, she BROKE Russian law and that is the reason for the sentence.

  3. CharlieSeattle

    August 5, 2022 at 7:30 pm

    …yawn! She is just another random high profile American snatched to traded for a Russian spy at a later date.

  4. Everett

    August 5, 2022 at 11:28 pm

    I hope she rots in their prison. She can kneel all she wants now, for our National Anthem. Maybe she’ll remember to NOT break the law after this. However, she’s just another arrogant, imbecile democrat that thinks she’s above the law, good luck trying to reform her.


    August 6, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    It’s good that in at least some of the world’s countries the penalties for breaking their laws are not just overlooked if people who are caught happen to be supposedly higher profile than the average US citizen and are dealt with by that nations
    laws exactly as it’s own citizens would be. Hopefully this individual will be given the maximum penalty prescribed by their laws as an example for any others who believe laws do not pertain to them !!!

  6. Jim

    August 6, 2022 at 3:59 pm

    Don’t do the crime if you are not going to do the time…….

  7. Kay

    August 6, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    Well, she has not been shy about hating America. Just another case of Karma.

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