Brittney Griner released by Russia in 1-for-1 prisoner swap for arms dealer Viktor Bout, U.S. official says.
In February, the WNBA star was arrested for having a vape containing cannabis oil, making her the most high-profile American jailed abroad. This is the second deal in eight months with Russia.
In court, Griner admitted to the possession of the canisters but said she had no criminal intent and said their presence in her luggage was due to hasty packing.
The prisoner Bout was described as “the world’s most prolific arms dealer.” He was currently serving a 25-year sentence for what U.S officials said conspiring to sell tens of millions of dollars in weapons that were to be used against Americans.
The swap has been in the works for some time, Biden expressed that Russia and the U.S. would move forward with a deal once the midterm elections were concluded.
President Biden spoke with Griner on the phone Thursday while her wife, Cherelle, was in the Oval Office.
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022