- The Washington Times - Friday, May 31, 2013

An Arizona mother of seven who was jailed last week on drug charges is now free, after a judge reviewed security footage of her boarding the bus and dismissed the charges.

“I’m free, I’m free, I’m free,” said Yanira Maldonado, 42, on Friday morning, from her Arizona home on Fox News. “At first, I was sad … but my faith kept me going.”

Ms. Maldonado was arrested last week by Mexican military officials who claimed she had smuggled 12 pounds of marijuana aboard a bus. Her attorney said those charged were trumped and pointed to the complexity of the operation — the marijuana was placed in several packets and attached with hooks beneath a bus seat — as proof that she was being framed.

Security footage of Ms. Maldonado boarding the bus showed she was only carrying blankets, bottles of water and a small purse — nothing that would enable her to carry aboard so much marijuana. The judge dismissed her case and freed her after viewing the footage, Fox News reported.

Upon exiting jail late Thursday evening, Ms. Maldonado hugged her husband, and thanked her attorneys and U.S. State Department workers for their help.