It appears the US government is willing to do whatever it takes to bring Brittney Griner back home.
Earlier this year, the WNBA star was accused of carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil inside a Moscow airport.
Russian news agency TASS initially reported that Russia was currently in talks with the US to exchange Griner for “Merchan of death” Viktor Bout. According to Forbes, the Biden administration are the ones who offered the swap.
The Biden administration is considering a prisoner swap that would free Brittney Griner from detention in Russia in exchange for notorious illegal arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to sources and Russian media. https://t.co/plJDCSoOaX
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 19, 2022
In an effort to free Brittney Griner, the pro basketball star detained in Russia, the Biden administration has offered to swap her for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout and send him back to Russia, Forbes has learned. Negotiations are in the early stages, according to a non-government source in a position to know.
Bout was famously called the “Merchant of Death” during his time as an illegal arms dealer and was the inspiration for the 2005 Nicolas Cage movie ‘Lord of War.’
. Bout, the so-called “Merchant of Death,” inspired Nicolas Cage’s gunrunner character in the 2005 film, “Lord of War.” He’s serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison since his 2011 conviction in New York federal court of conspiring to sell millions of dollars in weapons to FARC, the Colombian terror group.
A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department declined to comment. Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who leads the interagency team that’s working for Griner’s release, had no comment. The same was true for Bout’s New York attorney, Steve Zissou. Lindsay Kagawa Colas, Griner’s California agent, did not respond to requests for comment.