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Brittney Griner pleads guilty to hash oil possession in Russian court

Brittney Griner pleads guilty to hash oil possession in Russian court
According to her lawyers, WNBA star Brittney Griner (15), pictured Tokyo in 2021, on Thursday in Russia pleaded guilty to possessing less than a gram of hash oil. The plea came after Griner received a letter from President Joe Biden at the Moscow trial. File Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI | License Photo

July 7 (UPI) -- Brittney Griner Thursday pleaded guilty to possessing less than a gram of hash oil in a Russian court, according to her lawyers. But she told the court she did not intend to break the law.

The WNBA player was arrested a week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. Two vape cartridges containing a total of less than a gram of hash oil were found in her luggage.

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Griner attorney Alexander Boikov said after the Thursday hearing that while the vape cannisters were hers, she had packed them unintentionally.

Griner's lawyers are hoping for leniency from the court. Griner could face a maximum of 10 years in prison upon conviction.

RELATED Biden, Harris speak to Brittney Griner's wife about efforts to release her from Russia

After publicy urging that President Joe Biden speak to her about efforts to free Brittney, Griner's wife Cherelle Griner spoke by phone Wednesday with Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

A letter from Biden was delivered to Griner at trial in Moscow, according to the U.S. Embassy's Elizabeth Rood. In a tweet, Rood said Russia has said it won't do a prisoner swap to free Griner until after a verdict.

The Biden administration officially said in May that Griner is wrongfully detained.

According to Griner's lawyers, her trial could take two months. It started last Friday.

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