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Brittney Griner freed in U.S.-Russia prisoner swap

According to U.S. officials, the WNBA star was released by Moscow in exchange for international arms dealer Viktor Bout.

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Brittney Griner freed in U.S

WNBA star Brittney Griner will reportedly be released from a Russian prison, United States president Joe Biden confirmed Thursday.

In exchange for her release, the U.S. government will reportedly send convicted international arms dealer Viktor Bout back to Russia, according to CBS News. Bout, nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of, among other things, conspiracy to kill Americans Retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is also currently imprisoned in Russia for the past four years on espionage charges, is reportedly not part of the prisoner swap.

This news comes months after back-and-forth negotiations between the U.S. and Russia following Griner’s arrest in February after officials found hash oil in her luggage. She pleaded and was found guilty of drug smuggling charges and was originally sentenced to nine years. Griner was sent to a penal colony in November, but now, she will return home in time for Christmas.

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This story will be updated.

Brittney Griner was originally arrested at a Russian airport in February. (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Brittney Griner was originally arrested at a Russian airport in February. (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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