Russia has freed WNBA star Brittney Griner on Thursday in a dramatic high-level prisoner exchange, with the U.S. releasing notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool Photo via AP)
By JIM HEINTZ -- KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — A judge in Russia has convicted and sentenced American basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison for drug possession and smuggling. Judge Anna Sotnikova said the time Griner has served in custody since her arrest in February would count toward the sentence. Griner reacted to the sentence with little emotion. She listened to the verdict with a blank stare on her face. While recapping the evidence and giving her findings Thursday, the judge said the 31-year-old Griner illegally brought drugs into Russia. Before the unusually quick verdict was announced, Griner made a final appeal to the court . She said she had no intention to break the law by bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil into the country when she flew to Moscow in Feb
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