'Cocaine Babe' weeps as she's sentenced to 8 years in prison


Melina Roberge, a drug mule who Instagrammed the cruise vacation she took in order to smuggle cocaine into Australia, was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for her part in the crime.

Her prison sentence includes a non-parole period of four years and nine months in prison, after which she will likely be deported to Canada.

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

Over the course of the case, the court has heard that Roberge was recruited into the scheme by her "sugar daddy", who paid for her first-class tickets with the intention of using her as a decoy.

The Australian Border Force discovered the suitcase filled with cocaine.

One of her accomplices, Isabelle Lagace, 30, was sentenced in November to at least four-and-a-half years in jail after admitting she tried to smuggle the white powder in the pair's cabin to clear a $20,000 debt.

Roberge, Lagacé and André Tamine, a 65-year-old Montreal man, were all arrested upon arriving in Australia on August 28, 2016. The confiscation of the shipment was the largest amount ever pulled in from a cruise ship docking in Australia. "It is sad they seek to attain such a vacuous existence where how many likes they receive are their currency. I don't want to be part of that", she said. The Sydney Early morning Herald reported that she was drawn into drug smuggling by an older male she called her "sugar daddy".

Melina Roberge will serve an optimum of 8 years in prison, inning accordance with the Washington Post.

Court documents released after sentencing submissions showed the then 22-year-old was given gifts and money and "if I was interested" she would sleep with the men. "This highlights the negative influence of social media on young women such as the offender".

Roberge was obsessed with Instagram "likes".

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

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

Roberge pleaded guilty in February to importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled substance, and in swapping fashionable clothes for prison rags, has earned the job of "sweeper" while in jail.

She told a Sydney court last month that she had been "excited" about taking the luxury trip which she could not have afforded to pay for. He invited her to work as an escort in May 2016 during a trip to Morocco, where he first invited her to join a drug-smuggling voyage.

"I have devastated so many people in the process", she said.

Tamine will be sentenced in October.