Brittney Griner Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges In Russian Court

American WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in Russian court on Thursday. Griner was arrested on drug charges on February 17, 2022 after the Federal Security Service claimed she was carrying vape cartridges containing hash oil, an illegal substance in Russia.

Griner, like many other American players, played in the Russian Women's Basketball Premier League during the WNBA offseason to increase her income.

The 31-year-old from Houston, Texas stated "I didn't want to break the law" when pleading guilty.

"I'd like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn't want to break the law," Griner explained, according to Reuters. She also stated to the court that she "packed in a hurry," according to reports.

The drug charges Griner pleaded guilty to could see her face 10 years in prison. Her next court hearing is scheduled for July 14.

Griner Brings Picture Of Her Wife To Court

Prior to pleading guilty, Griner entered the courtroom holding a photo of her wife, Cherelle Griner.

Griner holding a picture of her wife is noteworthy given the fact that Russian officials would have had to give her permission to do so. Russian officers also did not stop her from flashing the photos toward the cameras in the courtroom.

Russian officials allowing Griner to show off the photo comes exactly one day after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with her wife about the case. One might suggest that the publicity of the photos is a message to President Biden's administration and an attempt from Russia to flex its muscles.

It also adds another layer of humanity to the ongoing story, one that doesn't look great for Griner or the Biden administration at the moment.

Russian authorities have been adamant saying that there is no basis for Griner's detention being illegal or politically driven despite the United States' involvement in Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

Rebekah Koffler, a Russian-born former U.S. intelligence officer and expert on Russia and Vladimir Putin, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that it would be unlikely for Russian President Vladimir Putin to grant Griner clemency and her detention would more than likely be used as a bargaining chip for a prison swap or quite possibly more.


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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and all other happenings in the world of golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.