WNBA player Brittney Griner has been released in a high-profile prisoner swap between the US and Russia after spending 10 months in Russian custody, recently in a penal colony.
President Joe Biden signed off on the trade of Brittney Griner for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer known as "Merchant of Death" who had served 11 years of a 25-year prison sentence in the US. Bout was convicted of conspiring to sell tens of millions of dollars in weapons that US officials said were to be used against Americans.
Brittney Griner was detained in February and plead guilty in her case to the Russian court in July for possession of vape canisters with cannabis oil, but claimed no criminal intent - their presence in her luggage was due to hasty packing. Her sentence was set for 9 years.
President Biden confirmed that Brittney Griner is safe, on a plane, and on the way home Thursday morning. Brittney Griner's wife, Cherelle, accompanied Biden and administration officials in the White House.
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