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Woman released after drug arrest abroad, says she's innocent

Readers in Michigan may enjoy travelling on vacation, including trips outside the United States. Whether to visit family, see the sights or just lounge on the beach, international trips can be fun and enlightening. But travellers need to take care to avoid possible arrests on drug charges while abroad. The laws in other countries may not be the same as in Michigan and tourists could find themselves stranded in jail for several days far from home, even if the charges are dubious.

That appears to have happened to an American woman who went to Mexico recently to attend a funeral. The woman and her husband were riding a bus headed back to the U.S. when the bus reached a military checkpoint.

Guards at the checkpoint searched the bus and allegedly found 12 pounds of marijuana under the couple's seats. They arrested the husband and the woman after she asked to come along to translate. They said the marijuana did not belong to them.

Authorities released the husband but held the woman, who felt the situation was so surreal at first that it was like a joke. Her husband said that officers demanded a $5,000 bribe for her release and held her for nine days until her family used social media to plead for her release and her attorney produced security video from the bus showed the couple boarding with only blankets and bottles of water in their possession.

It is not clear if Mexican authorities have dropped the drug charges. The woman and her husband returned to the U.S. shortly after her release.

Source: Lansing State Journal, "Arizona mom jailed in Mexico on drug charges released," Daniel Gonzalez and Cara Richardson, May 31, 2013

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