May 31, 2013 2:29 AM by Kassandra Lau

Arizona mother accused of drug smuggling released from Mexican jail

NOGALES, SONORA - The family of a Goodyear, Ariz., woman accused of trying to smuggle marijuana out of Mexico has returned to the United States.

The family of Yanira Maldonado, 42, says a judge in Sonora, Mexico agreed to release the mother of seven Thursday night. She crossed the border into Nogales, Ariz., just after midnight on Friday.

Maldonado was arrested by the Mexican military last week after they found nearly 12 pounds of marijuana under her bus seat. She was returning with her husband, Gary, from a funeral in Hermosillo. Her attorney says he believes surveillance video showing the couple boarding the bus played a key role in her release. He says it shows Maldonado carrying only a bottle of water and her husband carrying a couple of blankets.

Maldonado's family says they will all likely return to Goodyear, a suburb of Phoenix, sometime Friday morning.

The governor of Sonora previously voiced his support for Maldonado's release. He's expected to speak at a news conference in Phoenix, Friday afternoon.

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