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Arizona mom jailed on drug smuggling charges in Mexico released

May 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Yanira Maldonado of Arizona is now back at home with her husband and their seven children after being held for nine days in a Mexican jail, accused of attempted drug smuggling.

Maldonado was released late Thursday night after spending more than a week in a prison in Nogales, Mexico. Her husband was waiting for her outside of prison, and they were both very happy to finally see each other again.

Maldonado was arrested by the Mexican military after authorities found nearly 12 pounds of marijuana under her seat on the commercial bus she was traveling on. Maldonado and her husband Gary had gone to an aunt's funeral in Mexico and were on their way back to their home in Arizona when she was arrested at a checkpoint. Maldonado says the drugs did not belong to her.

The case prompted outrage in the U.S. and got a lot of media attention. Maldonado spoke briefly after her release and says despite her ordeal she will travel to Mexico again.

"I love Mexico. My family is still there, so it's not Mexico's fault. It's a few people who did this to me and probably to other people, who knows. I probably will go back," Maldanado said.

Maldonado was released after court officials reviewed security footage that showed her and her husband boarding the bus with no packages. Maldonado's husband Gary says he believes Mexican soldiers at the checkpoint wanted a bribe.


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