Brittney Griner was released Thursday from a Russian prison in a trade for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Griner’s release delighted the sports world after months of the Biden administration seeking her release from Russian custody since she was arrested in February, just before the start of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
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Griner was arrested in February for bringing vape cartridges containing cannabis-derived oils through a Moscow airport while returning to the country to play in a country basketball league.
About 10 months later, just a few weeks before Christmas vacation, Griner returns home.
BRITTNEY GRINER RELEASED FROM RUSSIAN PRISON IN EXCHANGE FOR CONVICTED ARMS DEALER
She was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17 after Russian authorities said she had vape cartridges laced with cannabis oil inside her luggage. On August 4, Griner received a nine-year sentence after pleading guilty, arguing that she had been prescribed cannabis for her pain and inadvertently packed it. Her sentence was confirmed in October and she was later transferred to a penal colony.
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Bout is known as the “Merchant of Death”, and the possible trade for him was raised in May. He was in the midst of a 25-year sentence in federal prison after he was convicted of conspiring to kill Americans in connection with supporting a Colombian terrorist organization.