Cocaine Smuggler Blames Crimes On Instagram Addiction

19 April, 2018, 02:12 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Melina Roberge pleaded guilty in February on the eve of her trial for importing nearly 30 kilograms of the drugs. Source Melina Roberge Instagram

A Canadian drug mule who attempted to smuggle cocaine into Australia on a luxury cruise ship has been sentenced to eight years in prison by a judge who said she had turned to crime as a way to achieve fame on Instagram.

NSW District Court Judge Kate Traill handed down the sentence today, ensuring Roberge will spend no fewer than four years and nine months behind bars.

Roberge, from Quebec, was sentenced to a non-parole period of just less than five years, after which she is likely to be shipped back to Canada.

Roberge and two other Quebecers, have pleaded guilty to smuggling cocaine worth about $16 million U.S. packed in suitcases aboard the MS Sea Princess during a seven-week cruise in 2016 from Britain to Ireland, the United States, Bermuda, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile then Australia.

Earlier, her accomplice Isabelle Lagace was sentenced to a maximum of seven-and-a-half years in prison.

The third accomplice, Andre Tamin, 65, will be sentenced in October.

Roberge told the court she suspected drugs were brought aboard at Peru, because of increased activity during a stopover there.

She admitted: "I have devastated so many people in the process". Picture: Instagram. Lagace was sentenced last November to at least four-and-a-half years in jail for her part in the crime.

"It is a very sad indictment on her relative age group in society to seem to get self-worth relative to posts on Instagram", Traill said on Wednesday.

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Roberge was caught with the drugs on the Sea Princess cruise ship in August of previous year.

She blamed her actions on a desire to take selfies "in exotic locations and post them on Instagram to receive likes and attention".

Judge Traill said Roberge had begun a sexual relationship with a "much older man", her so-called "sugar daddy". The Sydney Early morning Herald reported that she was drawn into drug smuggling by an older male she called her "sugar daddy". Inning accordance with the New York City Post, she stood to make $100,000 from the plot.

It was the largest haul of illegal drugs found on a cruise ship docking in Australia.

The Sea Princess stopped at Bermuda, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Tahiti before berthing in Sydney six weeks later.

The two were given first class cruise tickets worth $20,000 and 4000 euro spending money.

She added: "This highlights the negative influence of social media on young women".

Roberge has made a court apology to "the people of Australia" and said since being in jail, "I have come across people struggling with addiction". She said he invited her to go on a drug-smuggling trip to Morocco the next year.



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