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American Stacey Addison Is Released From East Timor Prison

PORTLAND — A U.S. traveler detained for months in East Timor was released from prison on Christmas Day, causing her mother to cry tears of joy. But it's unclear when Stacey Addison will be allowed to fly home for a reunion.

The Portland, Oregon, veterinarian was arrested in September when sharing a taxi with a stranger on the small island nation, off the coast of Indonesia. After the stranger picked up a package, then Police stopped the vehicle and determined the package contained methamphetamine. They took everybody to the station.

Addison, 41, was released from jail after a few days but ordered to remain in East Timor during the investigation. Then, in October, a prosecutor persuaded a court to rescind Addison's conditional release and she was taken to a women's prison—where she remained until American officials were able to intervene.

"I am overjoyed to learn of Dr. Stacey Addison's release from prison," said U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who has been working to secure Addison's release.

"I was crying, happy," Addison's mother, Bernadette Kero, told NBC affiliate KOBI. But she will be even more so when her daughter "can have that passport in her hand, get on a plane, and come home."

Kero said she spoke with Stacey twice on Christmas Eve, and her daughter, though obviously happy, was still in some disbelief over the whole situation. "I anticipated it not being a very good Christmas," Kero told the Associated Press. "And this is just the best Christmas present, other than her actually coming home."

— Cassandra Vinograd, with the Associated Press