Brittney Griner appeared in court for a preliminary hearing on Monday where she learned her criminal trial will start on July 1 and she will be detained for an additional six months.
The Phoenix Mercury baller was arrested at a Moscow airport on February 17 for alleged cannabis possession after authorities found vape cartridges with hash oil in her luggage.
If convicted of large-scale transportation of drugs, the 31-year-old WNBA star could face 10 years in prison.
In early May, the United States declared Griner “wrongfully detained,” but they have yet to do any effective about it.
Roger Carstens, a negotiator who helped free former Marine Trevor Reed from Russian imprisonment in April, is leading the team in charge of securing Brittney’s release.
Russian media reported the government would free Brittney Griner in exchange for convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, also known as the “Merchant of Death.”
Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008, extradited to the U.S. and sentenced to 25 years for conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles and providing aid to a terrorist organization.
Carstens declined to comment on the report of a possible Bout-Griner swap.
Brittney has been detained with minimal communication via email and the U.S. embassy failed to set up a call for Brittney with her wife, Cherrelle Griner, last week on their 4th anniversary.
Cherrelle posted a sweet video of herself and her wife to celebrate their special day, despite the awful circumstances.
Sending prayers up for Brittney’s safe return to her family.
Source: Associated Press