Australian judge sentences Canadian 'cocaine babe' to 8 years in jail

Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagace were arrested trying to smuggle cocaine into Australia on a cruise ship

Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagace were arrested trying to smuggle cocaine into Australia on a cruise ship

Canadian drug mule Melina Roberge, 24, has been sentenced to a maximum eight years in jail for helping smuggle $21 million worth of cocaine into Australia on a cruise ship.

The Australian court sentenced the woman, 24-year-old Melina Roberge, to eight years in prison.

She said Roberge had partly been driven by a thirst for taking selfies in exotic locations and uploading them to Instagram to get "likes".

Melina Roberge pleaded guilty in February on the eve of her trial for importing almost 30 kilograms of the drugs - worth up to $21.5 million - on board the Sea Princess which docked in Sydney in August 2016.

Roberge's cabin mate, 29-year-old Isabelle Lagacé, was jailed in November for seven-and-a-half years. 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.

In Roberge's affivadit she expressed her remorse for what she did, calling herself a "stupid young woman", who was manipulated into her actions by a wealthy sugar daddy back home.

"The sugar daddy it would seem had a big impact on her life".

Roberge, dubbed "cocaine babe" in headlines and on social media, was sentenced on Wednesday to a non-parole period of 4 years and 9 months in prison before she is likely to be deported to Canada.

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"She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world", Judge Traill said, according to CBS News.

"She wanted to be the envy of others. I doubt she is now".

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. He was caught with 60kg of the drug in his cabin.

Roberge's role was to "look pretty" while the drugs were sold below deck, Judge Traill said.

Roberge, alongside fellow Canadian and former porn star Isabelle Lagace, was offered a first class ticket worth $20,000, in addition to $5,000 in spending money as incentive to participate in the smuggling.

The judge also said that the case was an example of how social media has harmed a generation of young people and charged that the suspect was living a "vacuous existence".

The US Department of Homeland Security and the Canada Border Services Agency identified the trio as high-risk passengers among the 1,800 on board.

Cocaine seized from the MS Sea Princess in Sydney, Australia.

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