Mercury’s Brittney Griner detained in Russia for vape cartridges in luggage
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was detained in Russia after vape cartridges were found in her luggage in an airport in Moscow, The New York Times reported on Saturday.
The Customs Service at the airport said in a statement that while Griner was in line at security someone tried to remove a package from her bag.
The cartridge found in Griner’s luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport allegedly had “hashish oil,” a type of cannabis.
A criminal case has been opened into the large-scale transportation of drugs, a sentence of up to 10 years in prison in Russia, according to the statement.
“We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia. We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA,” the Mercury said in a statement. “We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.”
In nine seasons with Phoenix, Griner has averaged 17.7 points per game, 7.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists.
She won a WNBA title and was named to the All-Star team seven times.
Griner has also played for Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg in the past during the WNBA offseason.
“USA Basketball is aware of and closely monitoring the legal situation facing Brittney Griner in Russia,” USA Basketball said in a tweet. “Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and wellbeing are our primary concerns.”