Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drug charges in Russia: “I did not have any intention on breaking Russian law”

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WNBA star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty on Thursday morning to drug charges in a Russian court, saying that the vape cartridges containing hashish oil were in her luggage unintentionally.

ABC News was present inside the courtroom when Griner was asked if she would like to give testimony. 

“I would like to plead myself guilty,” she said. “I did not have any intention on breaking Russian law,” she continued, adding that she was is in a rush and did not mean to leave the cartridges in her bag.

Griner’s trial, which is taking place in Khimki — a suburb of Moscow — began last Friday, more than four and a half months after Griner was detained. She is expected to appear in court on July 14 for the third day of her trial.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist was visiting Russia to play basketball in the off-season when she was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport on Feb. 17 for having vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in the country.

Her detention was repeatedly extended, most recently through Dec. 20, which is the expected length of her trial. If convicted, Griner, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison.

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As previously reported, Griner sent President Joe Biden a handwritten letter seeking assistance with her detainment in Russia and asking him not to forget about her.

“I’m terrified I might be here forever,” Griner said in the note obtained by ABC News. “I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”

According to the White House, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris called Brittney Griner’s wifeCherelle Griner, to discuss release efforts.

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Celebrities and fellow athletes have shown support to the Phoenix Mercury star with the “Free Brittney Griner” movement. 

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