Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drug charges
Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges as her trial continued in Russian court on Thursday
She has admitted bringing cannabis into the country but said she had packed in a hurry and did not intend to break the law.
The Phoenix Mercury Center and Olympic medalist could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
It was Griner's second court appearance since her trial began in earnest last Friday. A judge had previously ordered her to be detained for the length of the trial
Griner was arrested on Feb. 17 — a week before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine
Authorities at Sheremetyevo International Airport allegedly found cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage.
She was traveling there because she plays for a Russian team during the U.S. offseason, which many WNBA players do to supplement their incomes.
"I would like to plead guilty on the charges against me," she said. "But I had no intention on breaking any Russian law. I was in a rush packing and the cartridges accidentally ended up in my bags."
When asked why she pled guilty today, Griner's lawyers said it was her first chance to address the charges against her.
Adding that she recognized she was a role model to many and thought it important to own up to her mistakes.
The lawyers are hoping that the judge will take into account while ruling on her case. Her lawyers will explain her actions in more detail and present her defense next week.
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