It’s one thing to get caught smuggling drugs, and it’s a whole other thing to be dubbed the “worst cocaine smugglers of all time.” After setting a record for the most cocaine ever smuggled at an Australian port, that latter category belongs exclusively to three Canadian drug mules who were caught in 2016 with 209 pounds and $30 million dollars worth of cocaine on a cruise ship doing a seven-week trip from Britain to Ireland, the United States, Bermuda, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Australia. The trio consisted of 28-year-old Isabelle Lagacé, 22-year-old Melina Roberge, and 63-year-old André Tamine.
Roberge pled guilty to helping smuggle the drugs back in February, and has since been sentenced to eight years in an Australian prison, per ABC News. She admitted to the court that she agreed to smuggle the drugs in exchange for the $17,000 cruise vacation she couldn’t afford, where she would be able to take selfies “in exotic locations and post them on Instagram to receive likes and attention.” She called herself a "stupid young woman" who was taking orders from her Canadian “sugar daddy,” who she declined to identify. 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.
Roberge was also offered $5,000 in spending money to take part in the crime, and was promised more once she came home. But the judge saw that as a “decoy role” according to Rolling Stone. “[She was] there to look pretty," the judge said.
"[Roberge] was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world," Judge Kate Traill said while handing down her sentence. "She wanted to be the envy of others. I doubt she is now."
The judge also said the crime was a "very sad indictment" of the social media generation who "seek to attain such a vacuous existence where how many 'likes' they receive are their currency."
Roberge’s fellow smuggler, Lagacé, was sentenced back in November to seven years in prison. She will also be deported to Canada after serving a non-parole period of four years.
The third person involved, Mr. Tamine, will be sentenced in October.