WNBA superstar Brittney Griner.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
US basketball player Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years and six months in jail after losing her drug smuggling case in Russia.
The WNBA superstar was given a lengthy prison sentence by a Russian court on Thursday after she was caught with a small amount of marijuana oil in her luggage
Griner’s attorneys plan to appeal the verdict while the US government is reportedly working on a deal to release her.
If diplomatic efforts or the appeal fail, Griner could be sent to a Russian penal colony where inmates are required to perform labour during their sentence.
Griner was playing for the UMMC Ekaterinburg team based in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg during the WNBA off-season.
She was detained in February after Moscow airport authorities found a small amount of marijuana oil in the vape cartridges that she carried in her bag.
In an interview, she said she did not intend to break Russian law and that she made an “honest mistake under stress” to bring the vape cartridges.
Under Russian law, smuggling of narcotics carries a sentence of five to ten years in jail and a fine. ICA/Expat Media
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