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WNBA Star Brittney Griner ARRESTED In Russia On Drug Charges, Wife Desperate To Get Her Home As Fears Grow Putin Will Use Her As ‘High-Profile Hostage'

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WNBA All-Star BrittneyGriner has been arrested in Russia after customs officials reportedly detected cannabis oil in her luggage at an airport three weeks ago.

 

Now, her wife, CherelleGriner, is desperately trying to get her back home as fear grows that paranoid, war-loving Russian president VladimirPutin may use the WNBA star as a “high-profile hostage” and a valuable bargaining chip. More inside…

Three weeks later and we’re just finding out WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner was detained and then arrested in Russia as she made her way through customs.  And the timing couldn't be worse as the world is in crisis mode as Russia invades Ukraine and we all teeter on the edge of WWIII.

According to The New York Times, Brittney Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time Women’s National Basketball Association All-Star with the Phoenix Mercury basketball team, was arrested in Russia after customs officials detected cannabis oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow.

Security footage (seen above) shows Brittany going through airport security before someone - who appears to be a customs employee - started going through her luggage.

A report from Russian news agency TASS identified the American woman who was arrested on drug charges as 31-year-old Brittney Griner, upon arriving from New York in February. A criminal case has been opened and filed under “large-scale transportation of drugs.” Such charges carry a sentence of 5-10 years in a Russian prison. 

During the WNBA’s offseason, Brittney plays in Russia to supplement her salary from the WNBA. Several WNBA players were scrambling to book flights to get out of Russia following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The Washington Post reported WNBA stars Breanna Stewart, Courtney Vandersloot, Jonquel Jones, Natasha Howard and ArikeOgunbowale fled the country.  

Cherelle Griner - Brittney’s wife - took to Instagram to thank everyone who has reached out about her wife’s safe return from Russia. She asked that fans honor their privacy as she desperately works on getting the two-time Olympic gold medal winner back home safely.

”Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life. I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details. Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely. Thank you!,” she wrote.

 

Evelyn Farkas - a former top Pentagon official - told Yahoo Sports that Russia & Putin may want Griner as a “high-profile hostage” who could serve as a valuable bargaining chip.  It's not a far fetched thought knowing Putin's usual motives of operation.

“If we want her out of jail, Russia is going to have some terms,” said Farkas, who served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia and Ukraine from 2012-15. “It could be a prisoner swap. They also could use it as an implicit threat or blackmail to get us to do something or not do something. Either way, they find it useful.” 

On Saturday, the State Department issued a Level 4 advisory NOT to travel to Russia, citing possible “harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials.” Brittney has been sitting behind bars for three weeks now. You can read more about the advisory here

Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee - who represents Brittney's hometown of Houston - held a press conference Saturday where she said she has spoken with the State Department in an effort to get the WNBA star released. 

”We know that there were some issues dealing with vape cartridges and other items but let me be very clear," Congresswoman Jackson Lee said. "Brittney Griner is a United States citizen, she was a guest in Russia…and I will be demanding her release.”

Peep the clip above.

The WNBA released a statement regarding Brittney’s arrest:

”USA Basketball is aware of and closely monitoring the legal situation facing Brittney Griner in Russia,” the WNBA said in a statement. 'Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and wellbeing are our primary concerns."

Folks are worried about Brittney’s safety overseas, especially since she’s an openly gay, black woman and Russia is widely perceived as an anti-LGBTQ+ country.

 

 

 

 

 

A extremely terrfying situation. We're keeping our fingers crossed she's able to be released and returned to her family and friends here in the States unharmed.

 

Photo: Keeton Gale/Shutterstock


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