Ariz. mother jailed on drug charges in Mexico speaks out

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yaniraNOGALES, MEXICO – Imagine that you go to Mexico for a funeral, and end up in jail!  If she really is innocent, Yanira Maldonado is living a nightmare.

“I’m not a criminal. I’m just here by mistake because people are not doing their work. This is not right,” she said in an interview from prison in Nogales, Mexico.

The American mom says she and her husband were returning to the U.S. by bus, when Mexican soldiers came on-board at a checkpoint.  The soldiers said they found more than 12 pounds of marijuana under Maldonado’s seat. She claims they wanted her to pay $5,000 to avoid being arrested.

She ended up getting taken to prison, but insists she is innocent. That belief is also held by a Mexican official who knows about the case.  He’s reportedly said it’s close to impossible that Maldonado could have carried all that pot aboard unnoticed.

The soldiers who arrested Maldonado were supposed to be in court on Wednesday, but they didn’t show up. Hearings are scheduled to resume Friday. Until then, all Maldonado says she can do is pray.