Brittney Griner is free at last. The WNBA star who was sentenced to a Russian prison, has been freed from detention and is officially in the custody of the United States, according to Steven Portnoy of CBS News.
In exchange for the release of Griner from a Russian prison, the United States released notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was serving a 25-year sentence on charges resulting from allegations that he sold millions of dollars of weapons, which were then set to be used against the United States.
United States officials were hoping that ex-Marine Paul Whelan, who they also classified as wrongfully detained by Russia, could also be freed, though he is not in the one-for-one prisoner swap with Griner and Bout.
The WNBA star’s release from Russian detention is the final conclusion in what amounted to nearly a year of stress and fear for her safety following her February arrest.
Brittney Griner was arrested when vape cartridges carrying small amounts of cannabis were discovered in her luggage in a Moscow airport.
Back in May, the United States declared Griner to be a wrongful detainee. The United States began to talk potential prisoner swaps back in June around the time when Griner’s wife met with President Joe Biden.
Griner herself even wrote a letter to the President on the Fourth of July, imploring him not to forget about her.
The seven-time WNBA All-Star was sentenced to nine years in Russian prison in August and her appeal was later denied.
Things escalated in the fall when Griner was moved to a Russian penal colony in Mordovia.
But the terrifying situation has come to an end. The United States has secured the release of Brittney Griner.