One of the two Canadian women who documented a lavish cruise trip to Australia on Instagram as a front for smuggling cocaine has been sentenced to at least four and a half years in prison. Roberge cried when she learned her fate.
Roberge and Lagace documented their trip on Instagram, and numerous photos showed off the girls' bodies in bikinis with the backdrop of different exotic locations.
Three Canadians have pleaded guilty to smuggling 95 kilograms of the drug 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. The drugs had an estimated value of $16 million.
Earlier, her accomplice Isabelle Lagace was sentenced to a maximum of seven-and-a-half years in prison. Andrew Tamine, the third co-accused, has already plead guilty to his involvement in the crime and is scheduled to be sentenced later in the year. She posted pictures of her intercontinental adventure on a cruise ship that was docked in 17 ports in 11 countries and final destination was Australia.
New South Wales District Court Judge Kate Traill pointed out during Wednesday's hearing that Robarge seemed remorseful and that she had "a good chance of rehabilitation".
Melina Roberge is headed to prison after being found guilty of trying to smuggle cocaine while on a lavish cruise.
Roberge is likely to be deported to Canada after she has served four years and nine months in prison.
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But the judge criticized Roberge's social media motivations for taking the cruise, the Post reported. It is sad they seek to attain such a vacuous existence where how many likes they receive are their currency.
The judge also told the court that Roberge had also become sexually involved with a "sugar daddy" who recruited her for the plot.
"I am really sorry, I should have thought about the consequences and not what I would have gotten for it", she said.
"She wanted to be the envy of others". She was promised the ticket, 4,000 euros ($5,000) in spending money plus more cash once she returned home.
Roberge told the court that she was offered the trip from her Montreal "sugar daddy". She reportedly earned more than $12,000 as an escort in Morocco.
The judge said the case highlighted the negative influence that social media could have on young people.