Yanira Maldonado, 42, was released Friday morning from a Mexican prison after a tense nine days in captivity for allegedly smuggling 12 pounds of marijuana under her bus seat.
Surveillance footage viewed in court Thursday, but not released to the public, reportedly showed the Arizona mom of seven boarding the U.S.-bound bus with a purse and two water bottles. Her husband walked onto the bus with blankets.
Officials in Sonora, the northern Mexican state where Maldonado was arrested, told CNN that Maldonado might have been framed. Gary Maldonado told The Associated Press that Mexican authorities initially demanded a $5,000 bribe for his wife's release.
It's unclear who exactly brought the two 5-inch tall, 20-inch wide packages onto the bus.
"I'm very grateful that I'm free," Maldonado told a crowd of reporters early Friday morning. "I really thank all of the people and you guys, the media... through you my situation was extended to the whole world."
Maldonado advised the actual pot smuggler to repent and "find a decent job where they can make a living not putting innocent people through a nightmare like they did to me and my family," according to CBS News.
"It's not Mexico's fault," she said. "It's a few people who did this to me, and probably other people."
"I'm tired, I'm exhausted, I had a long day," Maldonado told ABC News Friday. She said she would continue visiting Mexico, where some of her family lives, but not by bus.
Earlier in the week Maldonado told CNN she was passing time in prison "reading the scriptures, reading the Book of Mormon, praying, fasting."
"I'm a good mom," she said. "I love the gospel. I'm LDS. And we work hard to have what we have," she said. "You know, we're not rich, but we're very honest and we always do our best to help other people."