Arizona Woman Released from Mexican Jail

By admin May 31, 2013 16:52

Arizona Woman Released from Mexican Jail


An Arizona woman facing drug smuggling charges in Mexico was freed late Thursday night, after court officials reviewed a bus video that directly affected her case.

Yanira Maldonado was greeted by supporters as she left the jail on the outskirts of Nogales and hugged her husband, Gary, as officials closed the jail doors behind her.

“She lived through a nightmare,” said her attorney, Jose Francisco Benitez Paz. Yanira Maldonado, faced drug-smuggling charges after Mexican authorities said they found 12 pounds of marijuana under her bus seat. She could have received as many as 10 years in a Mexican prison. The mother of seven never imagined that when she boarded a bus to head back to the U.S. last week after attending a family funeral in Sinaloa she would be detained in a Mexican jail.

 Her family denied the charges and accuses authorities of arresting her to get bribe money. A Mexican state official also told CNN it appears that Yanira Maldonado was framed. Anna Soto, Maldonado’s daughter, said it was devastating to see her mom in jail over the weekend.

“She’s an honest woman. She’s innocent. It’s not a place for someone of her kind,” Soto told CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” on Tuesday night. “It hurts just to know that she’s there, to have seen her there. It’s not fair.”

Mexican authorities arrested Maldonado last Wednesday as she and her husband, Gary, were on their way back to Arizona. During a search of their bus at a military checkpoint in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora, authorities asked everyone to get off.

At first, authorities told Gary Maldonado that marijuana had been found under his seat and arrested him, his father, Larry Maldonado, told CNN. After the father contacted the U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo, Mexico, authorities said they were mistaken and released Gary. They then charged his wife.

Gary Maldonado said he believes Mexican soldiers at the checkpoint wanted a bribe. “It’s about getting money here,” he told CNN’s “Starting Point” on Tuesday. Maldonado’s court hearing had stretched for more than three hours on Tuesday afternoon, said Brandon Klippel, her brother-in-law. Military officers from the checkpoint were scheduled to testify on Wednesday, but didn’t show up.  

Gary faced less of the hassle than this his wife, however, with the uncovering of a video tape that showed footage of Gary and his wife entering the bus with only blankets and water bottles, the judge ruled Yanira could no longer be a suspect releasing her from detainment.


By admin May 31, 2013 16:52
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