Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in Russian court on Thursday.
According to Reuters, the WNBA star said she accidentally packed vape cartridge's containing hashish oil into her luggage, which led to her getting arrested at a Moscow airport on February 17.
"I'd like to plead guilty, your honor," Griner said in court. "But there was no intent. I didn't want to break the law."
As ESPN's TJ Quinn previously reported, 99 percent of criminal cases in Russia result in a conviction. With a guilty verdict seen as a "foregone conclusion," legal experts said pleading guilty represented her best strategy in order to create her chances of returning home safely to the United States.
Quinn added Monday that it was likely a needed step in hostage negotiations with Russia.
"The real issue is negotiations between the US and Russia to bring her home in a prisoner swap," Quinn wrote on Twitter. "There was a recognition that she will have to admit guilt before Russia agrees to a deal to send her home. Pleading now, it was thought, would get that out of the way and possibly help move negotiations forward."
Griner faces up to 10 years in prison.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden told Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, that the White House is working to bring her home as soon as possible. Per Quinn, Brittney Griner wrote a letter to Biden saying she's "terrified I might be here forever."