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Quebec cocaine smuggler sentenced in Australia
19 April 2018, 03:24 | Tara Lloyd
Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagace were arrested trying to smuggle cocaine into Australia on a cruise ship
However, Roberge was actually encouraged to use Instagram so she would get tons of likes and act as a decoy.
Dressed in a tidy white jacket, and with her hair pulled back, the Canadian woman, 24, appeared modest in comparison to the exploits she portrayed on social media.
The sentencing comes almost two years after the haul was intercepted by Australian Border Force authorities as the MS Sea Princess entered Sydney.
Roberge will serve at least four years and nine months of her sentence before she can be paroled, but could have received a life sentence for the crime, the Star reported.
Roberge told the court that an older man in Montreal who she referred to as her "sugar daddy" offered her the trip as a birthday gift.
Judge Kate Traill of the New South Wales District Court said Wednesday she accepted that Roberge, was genuinely remorseful and had "a good chance of rehabilitation", the BBC reported. "I don't want to be part of that", she said.
" This is an unfortunate indictment on her relative age in our society", the judge stated.
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"It is sad they seek to attain such a vacuous existence, where how many "likes" they receive is their currency".
She included, "This highlights the unfavorable impact of social networks on girls".
Traill also revealed that Roberge was sexually involved with the "much older man", her so-called "sugar daddy", who recruited her to transport the drugs.
News.com.au revealed exclusively that Roberge was pimped by "my sugar daddy" with odd men at nightclubs prior to taking the fateful drug cruise.
He introduced her to a world of late-night parties and expensive dinners, showering freebies upon Roberge and her friends. "Sometimes there would be intimacy but not always".
The judge said Roberge was also motivated by profit.
But before the drug bust, she had written: "Traveling is one thing".
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Her payment: the cost of the globetrotting adventure and €4000 spending money.
The dream holiday ran aground for the traffickers when they were arrested in Sydney on August 28, 2016, with border authorities discovering the major haul, worth up to $21 million on Australian streets.
Roberge's fellow smuggler, Lagacé, was sentenced back in November to seven 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.
A fourth member of their crew left the ship in Nova Scotia, Canada.
All three pleaded guilty.
In an affidavit tendered to the court, Roberge wrote that at the time she was "a stupid young woman" who was governed by superficial goals.
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