Arizona woman held on Mexican drug smuggling charge back in US

Yanira Maldonado was released by Mexican authorities late Thursday and returned to the US early Friday morning.

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    Yanira Maldonado, 42, left, accompanied by her husband, Gary, center, speaks to an official after being released from a prison on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico late Thursday, May 30, 2013.
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An Arizona woman held in a Mexico jail for a week on a drug-smuggling charge is back in the United States after a court reviewed the case and dismissed the allegations.

The Arizona Republic reports ( ) a small sedan carrying 42-year-old Yanira Maldonado and her family members could be seen crossing through the Nogales port of entry into Arizona at about 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Maldonado walked out of the prison on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico, and into her husband's arms late Thursday. KSAZ-TV reports she said later at a news conference that she still loves Mexico and plans to return in the future to visit family there.

The family's lawyer in Nogales, Jose Francisco Benitez Paz, says a judge determined Maldonado was no longer a suspect, and all allegations against her were dropped.


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