Mexico releases beauty queen arrested for drug links

January 31st, 2009 - 9:42 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, Jan 31 (DPA) A Mexican beauty queen arrested last December on suspected connections to illegal drugs was Friday released without being charged, the prosecutor’s office said.Laura Elena Zuniga, 23, who is Hispanic America Queen 2008 and was to represent Mexico in the Miss Universe 2009 pageant, was suspected of membership in a criminal organization, possessing illegal weapons and criminal violations of public health.

But prosecutors said Friday that they had not found any evidence that she was involved in criminal activity.

Zuniga insisted at the time of her arrest shortly before Christmas that she did not know her lover was a drug dealer and member of the Juarez drug cartel.

She was arrested along with eight heavily armed men during an anti-drug raid at a checkpoint in Guadalajara, about 600 km northwest of Mexico City.

They were carrying automatic weapons, pistols, 16 mobile phones, $20,000 in cash and munitions, police said.

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