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'Sugar daddy' recruit Melina Roberge jailed in $21m cocaine cruise ship bust

20 April 2018

Melina Roberge, 24, tried to smuggle nearly 24kg of pure cocaine, worth $16 million, into Sydney in her suitcase on board a luxury cruise ship, The Washington Post reported.

The much older man convinced Roberge to work as an escort, and she slept with men he introduced to her, essentially working as her pimp. The suspect broke down in tears when a judge said that wanting to be "the envy of others" drove the model to her attempt to smuggle 209 pounds of cocaine into Australia, the Daily Mail reported. The drugs had an estimated value of $16 million.

Her accomplice, ex-porn star Isabelle Lagace, 29, was sentenced in November to seven-and-a-half years. The third accomplice, 65-year-old Andre Tamin, will be sentenced in October. Authorities have described the incident as Australia's largest drug seizure on a commercial plane or boat.

Immigration and Border Protection

New South Wales District Court Judge Kate Traill blasted Roberge for seeking to show off online.

The Sea Princess vessel made stops in Ireland, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and South American countries, including Colombia and Peru, during a seven-week journey, the report said.

A Canadian woman who helped smuggle 95kg of cocaine onto a cruise ship to "become the envy of others" on Instagram has been jailed.

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Roberge's sentence includes a non-parole period of 4 years and 9 months in jail before she is likely to be deported to Canada.

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". "It's for the lifestyle she wants to enjoy".

Over the course of the case, the court has heard that Roberge was recruited into the scheme by her "sugar daddy", who paid for her first-class tickets with the intention of using her as a decoy. She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world. "This highlights the negative influence of social media on young women such as the offender".

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Roberge's addiction to cultivating Instagram fame started when she met her sugar daddy in 2015.

"I am really sorry, I should have thought about the consequences and not what I would have gotten for it", she said. Luckily for Roberge, she will leave prison while she is still somewhat young, but this is a lesson most assuredly learned the hard way.

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'Sugar daddy' recruit Melina Roberge jailed in $21m cocaine cruise ship bust