Brittney Griner found guilty of drug possession by Russian court – National | Globalnews.ca

A Russian court on Thursday found U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner guilty of deliberately bringing cannabis-infused vape cartridges into Russia despite them being illegal, after the athlete said she had made an honest mistake by packing them.

Her sentencing, which is set to take place later on Thursday, could pave the way for a high-profile prisoner swap between Russia and the United States that would include the 31-year-old athlete and an imprisoned Russian who was once a prolific arms dealers.

Read more:

Jaw-dropping trove of treasure recovered from wreck of 350-year-old Spanish ship

Griner pleaded with a Russian judge earlier on Thursday not to “end her life” with a harsh prison sentence for bringing in vape cartridges containing hashish oil, before breaking down in tears in court.

The Russian prosecutor called for Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star, to be sentenced to 9-1/2 years in prison if she is found guilty of bringing illegal drugs to Russia.

Story continues below advertisement

Griner was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Feb. 17 with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. She pleaded guilty but said she had neither intended to bring a banned substance to Russia nor to hurt anybody.

In a teary statement before the verdict, Griner implored the judge to recognize her actions as a mistake.

“I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling, that it doesn’t end my life here,” Griner said in court before breaking down in tears.

Read more:

Disney World guests trapped on ‘It’s a Small World’ ride for over an hour

The vape cartridges threw the Texan athlete into the geopolitical maelstrom triggered when President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

During the most strained U.S.-Russian relations since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, U.S. President Joe Biden is under pressure to intervene on behalf of Americans held in Russia.

The United States has said Griner was wrongfully detained and offered to exchange Russian prisoners for American citizens including Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.

Story continues below advertisement

One source familiar with the situation said that Washington was willing to exchange convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, whose life helped inspire the 2005 Hollywood film Lord of War starring Nicolas Cage.

Russian officials have said a deal has not been reached. They argue that Griner, known as “BG” to basketball fans, violated laws and should be judged accordingly.

For all the latest World News Click Here 

 For the latest news and updates, follow us on Google News

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! TheDailyCheck is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected] The content will be deleted within 24 hours.