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TODAY   |  May 31, 2013

Mom released from Mexican prison: ‘I’m free’

Yanira Maldonado, who was charged with smuggling drugs in Mexico, is reuniting with her family this morning after a week in jail. She was released shortly before midnight. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> first breaking news an american mother released from a mexican jail, back on u.s. soil this morning. miguel almaguer is in nogales, texas this morning.

>> reporter: yannira navarro praised her lawyer who introduced evidence wednesday, excuse me, late thursday, evidence that may have led to her release. after nine long nights in a mexican jail,ian know da maldonato says her nightmare is over. as she and her husband gary were returning from a funeral their bus was pulled over at a military checkpoint . more than 12 pounds of pot were discovered under two seats including the one frommia know rah was sitting.

>> someone put that in there and i chose the wrong seat.

>> reporter: surveillance video taken at the moment iia yannira and gary on the bus. purse, two bottles of water and what appears to be two blankets. just before stepping on to the vehicle yannira holds the blankets to gary who folds them tightly following them on the bus.

>> it's clear indisputable evidence they didn't have anything to do with it.

>> reporter: within hours of seeing that video in court the judge ordered maldonato released.

>> you guys did an amazing job out there for me putting the word out that i was in there, that i was innocent and that was, that was the key i would say.

>> reporter: this morning an american citizen freed from a mexican jail.

>> muchos gracias.

>> reporter: exxon rated from a crime she never committed.

>> i'm free. i'm free. i was innocent.

>> reporter: a short time maldonato was asked if she'd ever return to mexico and she said perhaps in time and added "i love mexico."

>> miguel thanks very much.