AVONDALE, AZ - A Valley woman held in a Mexican jail for over a week on drug charges spoke about her experience at a press conference Friday night.
Yanira Maldonado was released from a Nogales, Mexico jail late Thursday night where she crossed the border into the U.S.
Maldonado, who spoke with her husband and two of her children at her side, told reporters, “It was like a really bad experience for me and I really think what happened to me can happen to you.”
The mother of seven said the experience has brought her family closer together and thanked the community and media for its support.
Security video seen by a judge on Thursday apparently was a crucial piece of evidence that led to her release.
The video reportedly showed Maldonado and her husband, Gary, boarding a bus with Yanira carrying just a purse and bottled water. Gary was carrying blankets.
Two packages of marijuana were allegedly found under Yanira’s seat when the bus was stopped by Mexican soldiers.
She said that’s when they let her husband go and took her into custody. Authorities originally demanded $5,000 for her release, but the bribe fell through.
Maldonado said she was scared but she just prayed and got strength from her husband and her family.
Maldonado said she hopes this incident can help Mexico create new laws and "help the citizens and those who come to visit the country.”
She said she didn't believe this would happen to her again. She said she'd be more cautious, she'll drive her own car.
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