MEXICAN OFFICIAL: Mormon Mom Was Likely Framed For Drug Smuggling

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Yanira Maldonado

CNN

Yanira Maldonado spoke to CNN from a women's prison in Mexico.

A 42-year-old Arizona mom who's in a Mexican jail for allegedly smuggling marijuana was almost certainly framed, a Mexican official tells CNN.

Yanira Maldonado, a mother of seven, was arrested last week after a bus she and her husband were traveling in was stopped at a checkpoint en route to Arizona. Mexican police say they found 12 pounds of marijuana under her seat.

Her family is understandably distraught and insists she's been framed. An unnamed Mexican official who has "extensive knowledge" of her case tends to agree she's been set up.

"Can you imagine?" the official told CNN. "A passenger by himself or herself would have been unable to carry almost six kilos of marijuana onto a bus without being noticed. She must've been framed."

Mexican police are notoriously corrupt. Mexican authorities initially wanted $5,000 for her release but the bribe "fell through," her husband Gary told the Arizona Republic.

The Mexican Embassy in Washington told the Republic that Maldonado's "rights to a defense counsel and due process are being observed." It declined to comment on whether she'd been framed.

Maldonado told CNN she's been turning to Mormon scripture to get through her time in a women's prison in Nogales, Mexico. "I'm a good mom," she told CNN. "I love the gospel."



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