Women’s Basketball superstar Brittney Griner has been arrested in Russia on drug charges. According to reports Brittney Griner was arrested at a Russia airport after the custom official found vape cartridges in her luggage that contained cannabis oil (hashish) . Unfortunately for Brittney Griner the possible penalty for the hashish is five to ten years in prison. Brittney Griner plays in a Russian league during the off season of the WNBA and gets paid over a million to do so. The mugshot of Brittney Griner above is from a previous arrest.
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A U.S. women’s basketball superstar is being held in Russia after allegedly being caught with illegal drugs at an airport in Moscow.
The basketball player, identified by Russian media outlet Lenta as Brittney Griner, 31, was flagged at Sheremetyevo Airport sometime last month after flying in from New York. Russian customs officials claim she was carrying vaping equipment with cannabis oil cartridges, which are illegal in Russia. She reportedly could face 5 to 10 years in prison.
“As a U.S. citizen was passing through the green channel at Sheremetyevo Airport upon arriving from New York, a working dog from the Sheremetyevo Customs canine department detected the possible presence of narcotic substances in the accompanying luggage,” the Russian Federal Customs Service said in a statement. “The customs inspection of the hand luggage being carried by the U.S. citizen confirmed the presence of vapes with specifically-smelling liquid, and an expert determined that the liquid was cannabis oil (hash oil), which is a narcotic substance.”
It was not clear when last month Griner was arrested, but the development comes as Russia is increasingly isolated from the west following its invasion of Ukraine. Last month, the WNBA and the league’s players association warned many of its players, who compete in Russia, Ukraine, and various European nations during their off-season, to get out of the war zone.
“We have been in constant communication with our members and their representatives for several weeks, and we’ll continue to stay abreast of current events,” the league statement read. “The league has also been in contact with WNBA players who are in Russia, either directly or through their agents. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Griner, who is listed at 6-foot, 8-inches tall and was a three-time All-American at Baylor University, has starred for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury as well as UMMC Ekaterinburg, a team based in Yekaterinburg, Russia, since 2015. The team competes in the Russian Premier League and FIBA Europe’s EuroLeague. Griner helped the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team win gold medals at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Griner is so accomplished that when she came out of college in 2013, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban floated the idea of drafting her to play in the NBA.