MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. The Moscow Region’s Khimki City Court has sentenced US basketball player Brittney Griner to nine years in a penal colony for drug smuggling and possession, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.
"The court hereby sentences Griner to nine years in prison and a fine of one million rubles ($16,300)," Judge Anna Sotnikova announced.
The fact that Griner had pleaded guilty was taken into account as a mitigating factor. The period of pre-trial custody will be applied to her sentence for time already served. The court also ordered the destruction of the hashish oil seized from Griner.
The court earlier found the US national guilty under Article 228.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal acquisition, storage, transportation or possession of narcotic drugs without intent to sell) and Article 229.1.2 of the Russian Criminal Code (significant drug smuggling). The prosecutor had requested the court to sentence Griner to 9.5 years in prison.
Griner was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for attempting to smuggle hashish oil into Russia. She pleaded guilty but said that she had put the hashish oil into her bag in a hurry and had no criminal intent.
As a member of the US women’s national team, Griner won gold medals at the 2014 and 2018 World Championships, as well as at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. Before her arrest, she played for Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg team.