Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner is arrested in Russia for drug trafficking over vape cartridges

American basketball star Brittney Griner has been reportedly arrested in Russia after airport authorities around Moscow allegedly found vape pen cartridges containing hash oil among her belongings.

The WNBA Phoenix Mercury All-Star player is now under investigation for drug trafficking, Russia’s Federal Customs Service said in a statement Saturday, an offense that could carry a 10-year prison sentence. Russian media said Griner was arrested in February, although reports don’t give the exact date. Griner hasn’t posted anything to her Instagram account since February 5.

According to the customs service Griner was arriving at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on a flight from New York when a police dog alerted officers to her luggage. Their pockets were then X-rayed, where the vape cartridges containing numbing cannabis oil were said to have been discovered. Griner has been in Russian police custody since her arrest.

Griner not only plays for Phoenix Mercury in the USA, but also in the Russian women’s basketball league and has played for Yekaterinburg UMMC since 2015. Your season is currently running and Griner appears to have last played for the team in January.

Griner’s arrest and detention comes at a time when Russia’s relations with Western countries are strained due to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The country has a history of arresting and convicting Americans on false or aggravated charges, the authorities said New York Times.

Griner’s current partner, Cherelle Watson Griner, has not yet commented on Griner’s arrest, nor have her immediate family members.

In a statement, Phoenix Mercury said it has been “closely monitoring” the situation with Griner and is in “continuous communication with her family, her agency, the WNBA and the NBA.”

“We love and support Brittney and at this time our primary concern is her safety, physical and mental health and her safe return home,” the team added. The WNBA issued a similar statement, saying their top priority was to get them home safely as soon as possible. Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner is arrested in Russia for drug trafficking over vape cartridges

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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