Update: Yanira Maldonado Released

By Dianne Frazee-Walker

A week ago, Yanira Maldonado, a 42 year-old-mother of seven, was sitting in a Mexican jail not knowing if she would return home or be exported to Mexican prisons the rest of her life never to be found by her family.

Yanira was arrested 2 weeks ago when Mexican authorities stopped the bus she and her husband were traveling in on their way home from her aunt’s funeral to Goodyear, a suburb of Phoenix. The bus was stopped at a military check-point 90 miles from the Mexican border. Military police ordered all passengers off the bus and rushed onto the vehicle.   Photo courtesy kmbc.com

Hours earlier, Maldonado and her husband Gary were the last passengers to board the bus. Yanira sat in seat 39 and Mr. Maldonado sat in seat 40.

When Mexican officials searched the bus they found 12 pounds of Marijuana neatly packaged and taped under seats 39 (Yanira’s seat) and seat 42  located directly behind her seat.

The passenger sitting in seat 42 fled the scene. Gary Maldonado, Yanira’s husband, who was sitting next to her in seat 42 was escorted by police for questioning. Yanira, not wanting to leave her husband’s side begged officials to allow her to come along and translate since her husband does not speak Spanish. Yanira is a naturalized American born in Mexico. The police decided to release Mr. Maldonado and arrest Yanira.

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Arizona Mother Accused of Drug Smuggling

By Dianne Frazee-Walker

A 42-year-old model citizen has an incredible attitude while sitting in a Mexican jail after being arrested for smuggling 12-pounds of marijuana. Yanira Maldonado, resident of Goodyear, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, says she “has nothing to hide.”  Photo courtesy kmbc.com

Maldonado and her husband, Gary, were returning from her aunt’s funeral in Mexico when the bus they were traveling in was stopped at a military checkpoint 90 miles from the U.S. border. Mexican federales ordered all passengers out of the vehicle and searched the bus.

Maldonado’s nightmare began when 12-pounds of pot was found neatly packaged and taped under seat 39 where she was sitting. Maldonado automatically became a prime suspect for attempting to smuggle the parcels and was arrested on the spot. 

The Mormon woman raising seven children was initially shocked, but now she is calming down and believing she will be found innocent and be able to return home. Anna Soto, one of Maldonado’s daughters, knows her mother would never be guilty of smuggling drugs and anxiously wants her to return home where she belongs.

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