In a move that has “world’s dumbest criminal” written all over it, Canadian Instagram influencer known as “Cocaine Babe” received a sentence of eight years in prison for, that’s right, smuggling cocaine.
CBS News reports that 24-year-old Melina Roberge told the Australian court the reason she risked a possible life sentence trying to smuggle $16 million worth of the drug into Sydney is that she wanted to take selfies in fabulous locals. Instead of a life sentence, Roberge received the relatively “light” sentence of eight years, and she will likely serve four years and nine months of that period without parole in Australia before being deported to Canada.
In exchange for stuffing cocaine into her luggage and boarding a luxury cruise ship, the MS Sea Princess, she received a trip worth $17,000, which she otherwise couldn’t afford to take. Roberge’s goal for the trip? Take selfies and post them on Instagram for instant Internet “fame.” Her suitcase held so much cocaine that she barely had room for anything else, which is almost unbelievable considering the whole goal, for her at least, was selfies.
In 2016, according to The Washington Post, the 7-week cruise took Roberge and two other Canadians who pleaded guilty on a trip that included 17 ports in 11 countries including Britain, Ireland, the United States, Bermuda, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Australia.
In November, Roberge’s accomplice, 29-year-old Isabelle Lagace, received a seven-and-a-half-year sentence, of which she will likely serve four-and-a-half-years in Australia, and then she faces deportation to Canada. The third accomplice, Andre Tamin, 65, won’t receive his sentence until October, but since he had 60 kilograms in his cabin on the cruise ship, he will likely serve some time.
Judge Kate Traill, who handed down Roberge’s sentence, felt no sympathy for the woman’s “vacuous” lifestyle. Roberge cried when she learned her fate. The inside of a prison is a far cry from a fabulous Instagram lifestyle, and smuggling drugs was a poor choice and not a good way to travel. Luckily for Roberge, she will leave prison while she is still somewhat young, but this is a lesson most assuredly learned the hard way. Perhaps others who feel tempted will take notice.