Detained WNBA Star Britney Griner has pleaded guilty to drug charges stemming from a February 17 arrest in which authorities found two vape cartridges full of cannabis oil in her luggage while she was returning to Russia to play for her Russian team.

Since the start of her trial last week many have been speculating on the plea that Griner and her legal team would present before her prosecutors. Many supporters of Griner have been calling for her release saying that she is a political pawn after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to reports, Griner told the court that she had not intended to commit any crimes or carry drugs in her luggage. The 31-year-old had discussed her plea decision with her family, experts and lawyers but ultimately the decision to plead guilty was hers alone. She had been urged to look at all her options especially considering Russia’s 99% criminal conviction rate. Many expected that she would take on a plea that would lead to a shorter sentence. Prosecutors are arguing that Griner intended to import the drugs into Russia’s territory and intentionally put the known-prohibited substances into a backpack and suitcase.

A guilty sentence would also heighten the chances of a prisoner swap between the U.S. and Russia similar to the one that freed veteran Trevor Reed, who was detained in Russia for three years before a prisoner swap brought him home. Before this, however, Griner would have to be convicted and also admit fault. In Reed’s case, he had to sign a document admitting guilty, which was something he had refused to do for much of his detainment.

Prior to her plea President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to Griner’s wife Cherrelle Griner, who said she was grateful for the call from Biden and Harris, “While I will remain concerned and outspoken until she is back home, I am hopeful in knowing that the President read my wife’s letter and took the time to respond. I know BG will be able to find comfort in knowing she has not been forgotten.” she said.

Griner’s next hearing is scheduled for July 14.

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