Yanira Maldonado, Valley mom of 7, being held in Mexican jail

A Valley mother of seven being held in a Mexican jail is fighting for her freedom.

Mexican officials arrested Yanira Maldonado, of Goodyear, after they say 12 pounds of marijuana were found under her bus seat Wednesday.

"She didn't do it. She is 100 percent innocent," said Yanira's father-in-law Larry Maldonado.

Yanira and her husband Gary were in Mexico for a relative's funeral. Family members tell ABC15 they took the bus because they thought it would be safer. 

The couple was on their way back to Arizona when their bus had to stop at a military checkpoint in Hermosillo.

"They told everyone to get off the bus. They found drugs on the bus. At first they claimed the drugs were found strapped under Gary's seat, but then they came back and arrested Yanira," said Larry.

Yanira was transported to a jail in Hermosillo. The family says prosecutors told them they could bribe the judge with money.

"Gary first offered them $3,500, but they said that wasn't enough. He then offered them $5,000 but he never heard back," said Larry.

The family then found out Yanira was transferred to a women's jail in Nogales.

She gave a statement to the judge's assistant Monday.

On Tuesday morning, witnesses will be brought in to defend her case.

If a judge decides to rule against Yanira, she could stay in jail for at least six months while police investigate her case.

ABC15 crews will be at the hearing Tuesday. Stay with abc15.com for updates.

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