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#pounditSunday, September 25, 2022

Brittney Griner formally convicted and sentenced in Russia

Brittney Griner smiles

Mar 12, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner in attendance of the Phoenix Suns game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The United States government is in the process of working on a deal to bring Brittney Griner home, but the WNBA star has been sentenced in the meantime.

Griner was convicted on Tuesday and sentenced to nine years in prison. Prosecutors were seeking a 9.5-year prison sentence on the drug charges.

As ESPN’s TJ Quinn notes, the sentence is essentially a formality. Griner will only be detained for as long as it takes the U.S. to reach an agreement with Russia. Now that the trial has ended, a resolution may come more quickly.

Griner has been in custody since Feb. 17, when authorities found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. US officials have confirmed that they made an offer for a prisoner swap, though it is unclear where the negotiations stand.

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