WNBA star Brittney Griner is coming home.
According to a report from Fox News Griner, who has been imprisoned in Russia for nearly a year, has been released in a prisoner swap; Russia will get convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout aka “The Merchant of Death.”
From Fox News:
Griner was freed from a Russian penal colony on Thursday in a prisoner exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News.
U.S. and Russian officials have expressed optimism in recent weeks about a potential deal for Griner. A top Russian official said last week that a deal was possible before year’s end.
President Biden tweeted about Griner’s release. He was seen in pictures with Vice President Kamala Harris and Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner.
“Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner,” the tweet read. “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home.”
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
Griner was arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on Feb. 17 after Russian authorities said she had vape cartridges with cannabis oil inside her luggage. On Aug. 4, Griner was given a nine-year sentence after pleading guilty, arguing that she had been prescribed cannabis for her pain and inadvertently packed it. Her sentence was upheld in October, and she was later transferred to a penal colony.
Bout is known as the “Merchant of Death” and the possible swap for him was floated back in May. He was in the middle of a 25-year sentence in federal prison after he was convicted of conspiracy to kill Americans relating to the support of a Colombian terrorist organization.
More over at Fox News:
Brittney Griner released from Russian prison in swap for convicted arms dealer https://t.co/B4LN6TQiIB
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 8, 2022