How did a Phoenix-area mother end up in a Mexican prison accused of smuggling drugs? According to friends and family of the woman, she is a devout mother and member of the Mormon church- a woman who would never smuggle drugs. Currently, the woman is waiting in prison until her name can be cleared. A hearing is set for tomorrow morning. It all started when the woman and her husband got on a bus en route to Mexico for a family member's funeral. The couple took the bus because, as they stated, they believed it was the safest way to travel to Mexico.
After the bus had crossed the border into Mexico, it was stopped by Mexican federal investigators. The federales ordered all passengers off of the bus so that they could conduct an investigation. When they returned, they claimed to have found 12 pounds of marijuana under the seats where the couple was sitting. The accused woman is a mother to seven children and has been a United States citizen for 17 years. She has no history of drug use or drug crimes.
Some believe that the couple was targeted because they are American, saying that the drugs were planted. This, of course, could be true but would require further information to confirm. In tomorrow's hearing, the judge could potentially throw the case out if he or she determines there is not enough evidence to proceed with a trial.
The family has contacted Senator Jeff Flake who issued a statement that his office was currently in contact with the deputy Mexican ambassador. They are both closely monitoring this situation. If convicted, the Mormon mother faces up to ten years in Mexican prison.
Cases like this are not only difficult for the accused and their families, but they are also difficult when it comes to the justice system. Since the allegedly smuggled drugs were found in Mexico, the case is being processed by the Mexican criminal justice system. Drug charges, penalties and criminal justice as a whole are handled differently in Mexico than in the United States.
This could very well be a mix-up or a direct setup. Either way, the woman will have to remain in custody until a judge's decision. Due to Phoenix's close proximity to the Mexican border, you may know of someone who has been wrongfully accused of drug trafficking, transportation or smuggling crimes. To learn more about these types of cases as well as defenses that could be available, contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer from Knowles Law Firm, PLC today.