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CBS 5 INVESTIGATES

Planted package undetected on jailed mom's path to Mexico

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Jail in Nogales (Source: CBS 5 News) Jail in Nogales (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The seating is tight, but not cramped. There's enough room for passengers to stretch their legs, but there's little chance you would notice if someone attached a package to the bottom of your seat.

CBS 5 Investigates rode the same type of motor coach, owned by the same company, Tufesa, in which Yanira Maldonado was riding when she was arrested in Mexico last week.

The 42-year-old mother of seven from Goodyear sits in a Mexican jail, after officers at a military checkpoint said they found marijuana strapped to the bottom of her seat.

Maldonado's family insists she is innocent. A Mexican judge is expected to rule by Friday on whether to release her or continue to detain her for more court proceedings.

The seats are somewhat private, and nobody noticed when we tried to strap a lunch box to the bottom of our seat. It only took about 20 seconds to do it.

Once the box was secured, there was no way to see it while sitting, meaning Maldonado would not have noticed the packages of marijuana strapped to her seat bottom unless she kneeled down to look for herself.

There were no security cameras aboard either of the two buses CBS 5 Investigates boarded.

After riding through the Sonoran desert, three potential scenarios became clear. Either Maldonado placed the drugs beneath the seat herself, another passenger placed them there without her knowledge, or they were already there when she boarded the bus.

Absent video evidence or witness testimony, there would be little chance of proving the drugs belonged to her.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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