WNBA player Brittney Griner was found guilty of transporting drugs into Russia and was given a 9-year prison term.

In a statement released, Griner’s attorneys claimed the decision, which was just short of the maximum penalty of 10 years, was “totally unreasonable” and that they would “definitely launch an appeal.”

About an hour after the prosecution and Griner’s attorneys finished their closing statements on Thursday, a Russian judge announced the verdict to the 31-year-old. The Phoenix Mercury actress had made an impassioned address during which she reiterated her position that, while having admitted to smuggling less than 1 gram of cannabis oil into Russia, she had done so “inadvertently” and pleaded with the judge to be forgiving.

“I pleaded guilty to my charges because of this. I pled guilty because I understood all that was said against me and the charges against me, but I didn’t intend to violate any Russian laws “Griner stated, as reported by CNN.

He stated, “Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more indication of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully holding Brittney. “It’s outrageous, and I demand that Russia free her right away so she may be with her wife and other family members, friends, and teammates. To return Brittney and Paul Whelan securely to their home as soon as possible, my administration will keep working relentlessly and pursuing all available options.”

During closing arguments, Russian prosecutors requested that Griner get a sentence of nine years and six months in jail, which is just one year less than the maximum permissible term of ten years. According to The New York Times, the prosecution also requested that Griner pay a punishment of 1 million rubles, or around $16,600.

The Biden administration is still attempting to reach an agreement with Russian authorities to extradite Griner and Paul Whelan, another American detained in the nation, as the Russian court rendered its decision in Griner’s case.

The Russian court’s decision, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “spotlights our concerns about the Russian government’s use of wrongful detentions,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

The White House confirmed on Wednesday that Blinken had claimed the Biden administration had made a “substantial” deal with Russia to secure the pair’s release. On Thursday, Blinken reiterated that they intended to “do everything we can” to bring Griner and Paul Whelan home “as soon as possible.”

According to CNN, Russian officials have also requested the inclusion of Vadim Krasikov, a convicted murderer and former Russian spy, and the U.S. reportedly proposed to swap the two for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

American Woman “Forgotten” and Brittney Griner in Russian Prison Before being arrested, the suspect attempted to escape with U.S. assistance.
According to CNN and ESPN, both the White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, and a Defense Department official claimed that Russia made this counter-proposal in “poor faith.”

According to Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby, “It’s a poor faith attempt to dodge a very serious offer and proposition that the United States has put up and we urge Russia to consider that offer seriously.”