Britney Greenner Biography
Who is Britney Greenner?
BRITTNEY Griner has been jailed for nine years for allegedly smuggling drugs into Russia.
Phoenix Mercury has been jailed in Russia since her arrest at Moscow airport in February after a scanner allegedly showed her luggage contained cartridges containing “liquid cannabis oil.”
A Russian court sentenced Greener to nine years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of 1 million rubles ($16,590).
Before delivering a guilty verdict, Griner apologized in court, saying he had made an “honest mistake”.
“I want to apologise to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city (of Yekaterinburg) for the mistakes I made and the embarrassment I caused them,” said Griner, her voice broken.
“I also want to apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization in my hometown, the amazing women in the WNBA, and the amazing spouses in my hometown.
Griner’s sentencing comes amid recent efforts by the Biden administration to secure his release by offering WNBA star and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan prisoner in exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Victor Bout.
The White House has reportedly been working on a deal to release two U.S. citizens in exchange for Bout, dubbed the “death businessman.”
Boot is serving 25 years in various states after being convicted in federal court in 2011 of conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens and officials.
U.S. officials familiar with the Russian judicial system said Griner’s trial must end before a deal can be finalized.
Russia, on the other hand, has been detaining Whelan on suspicion of espionage since 2018.
Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in prison for having classified documents in his hotel room when he traveled to Russia for his friend’s wedding, Russian authorities said.
According to ABC News, Whelan claimed his arrest was a political stunt, saying: “The guards called me a ‘tourist.'”
“We made a substantive proposal a few weeks ago to facilitate his release,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in remarks to the State Department.
Blinken added that he plans to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to come up with the proposal.
White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday that Russia had responded “maliciously” to the U.S. government’s offer, a counteroffer that U.S. officials did not consider serious. However, she declined to provide any further details.
Prominent defense attorney and former Manhattan and federal prosecutor Duncan Levine said the U.S. justice system is flawed, but it remains a due process system in the face of the “sham” that exists in Russia.
“Swapping prisoners with Russia is like negotiating with kidnappers,” Levine told The Sun. “This is a dance of international relations, not something that happens in court.”
Both Griner and Whelan’s families have called on the White House to release their loved ones from Russian prisons.