(JTA) — Russia has sentenced an Israeli-American woman to 7 1/2 years in prison following her conviction for smuggling marijuana into the country.
A Moscow court handed down the sentence to Naama Issachar, a 25-year-old Israeli army veteran, on Friday, a court spokeswoman told Reuters.
Russia had tried exchanging Issachar for Aleksey Burkov, a Russian hacker held in Israel set to be extradited to the United States, according to Haaretz.
Issachar had been detained since April in Russia after 9 grams of marijuana were found in her luggage. She denies the marijuana was hers. Nine grams is less than a third of an ounce.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry criticized the sentence as “disproportionate,” Haaretz reported.
Her initial charge of possession of cannabis, which entails a fine and a month of detention, was subsequently changed to narcotics smuggling, which carries a prison term of three to 10 years.
Issachar’s family had asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has cultivated a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to help her.