'Cocaine babe' off to prison for trying to smuggle drugs
24-year-old Melina Roberge was recently sentenced to eight years prison time for trying to smuggle 95 kilos of cocaine into the Sydney Harbour in 2016. Roberge and her friend Isabelle Lagace were on a luxury cruise ship Ms Sea Princess that travelled 17 ports in 11 countries, and they documented their Inter-continental adventures on Instagram. After arrival in Sydney, they were arrested.
Roberge and Lagace were recruited in the plan by Andre Tamin (who was also arrested), referred to as the former's 'sugar daddy' in court documents. Tamin paid their cruise tickets and offered them thousands of dollars for the job. "With 95 kilograms of cocaine stuffed into their suitcases, they did not have much room for clean underwear or spare toothbrushes," a statement read.
Roberge told New South Wales state district court she agreed to the exotic trip to get likes on Instagram. She said the expensive 12,000 pounds trip was not something she could afford. Announcing the sentence, the judge said, "She wanted to be the envy of others. I doubt she is now." Roberge was dubbed 'cocaine babe' in headlines and she pleaded guilty.
Upon arrival in Australia, the ship was searched by border agents. They discovered 35 kgs cocaine in the women's cabin and another 90 kgs in Tamin's space. Before sentencing, Roberge broke down and said, "I have come across people struggling with addiction. I don't want to be part of that." After completing four years jail-term, in Australia, Roberge will be deported to Canada.