In a prisoner exchange that took place on Thursday morning, the U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, a Houston native, was released from the custody of the Russian authorities.
In a tweet, Biden said Brittney Griner is safe. She is on a plane heading home. City Hall will be lit red, white, and blue in her honor Thursday night.
With characteristic grit and incredible dignity, despite her loss of months amidst mistreatment and a show trial in Russia, she has endured mistreatment and a show trial.
The airport officials discovered vape canisters and cannabis oil in her luggage in February, and the court sentenced her to 9 years in Russian prison for trying to smuggle illegal drugs into the country.
There was a sham legal proceeding," the White House said. Griner pleaded guilty in September and apologized for the incident, calling it an “honest mistake
She played basketball in China and Russia during the offseasons while playing for the Phoenix Mercury and Baylor University Lady Bears from 2009-13.
NBC News reported Thursday morning that Bout's release was negotiated in exchange for hers.