Arizona Mother Accused of Smuggling Drugs is Innocent, Says Family

An Arizona mother of seven is currently being detained in a Mexican jail, amidst allegations that she smuggled 12 pounds of marijuana, which her family is denying.

A Mexican state official also believe that you Yanira Maldonado, the mother in custody, was framed.

This Tuesday, Maldonado will find out whether she will walk free or remain in jail until her trial.

Her daughter, Anna Soto said during an interview with CNN, “She’s innocent. She’s an honest good woman, a Christian woman that would never do anything to jeopardize her freedom.”

Maldonado was arrested last Wednesday as she and her husband were on the way back from a family funeral on a bus. During a search at a military checkpoint in the northwestern section of the Mexican state of Sonara, everyone was asked to get off the bus. It was then that they told Maldonado they had found a large stash of marijuana underneath her seat.

A Sonora state official with knowledge of the case said there were so many questions about the arrest. He said, “Can you imagine? A passenger by himself or herself would have been unable to carry almost 6 kg of marijuana onto a bus without being noticed. She must’ve been framed.”

The husband was told by authorities that no matter whether she was guilty or innocent, he would still have to pay a fine of $5000 to secure her freedom. The husband was able to get the money together but eventually was told it was too late and his wife had already been transferred to another jail.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is monitoring the case, and his office stated that, “Sen. Flake is personally monitoring the situation and he has had multiple conversations with the deputy Mexican ambassador this weekend.”

A family member says that the family has hired a lawyer in Mexico but they are still very worried as they do not fully understand the local legal system.

A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday where the judge will make the decision whether or not to release Maldonado or keep her in custody for another four months while she awaits trial.

A local lawyer has also informed the family that Maldonado can request a 72 hour extension which will delay that decision and give them more time to prepare.

Maldonado’s brother-in-law said, “We are worried that Yanira may not know that she’s the one that needs to request this. If they don’t extend the 72 hours, the judge will make a decision whether she can go free tomorrow or will be transported to a prison in south Mexico.”