Cocaine smuggler gets 8 years in $21M case, chastised by judge for social media lifestyle


A convicted cocaine importer known for her Instagram photos at breathtaking travel destinations has been sentenced to eight years in prison for helping smuggle $21 million worth of the drug.

Melina Roberge, 24, a Canadian, weeped in an Australian courtroom while learning she will serve a minimum four years and nine months in prison, and a maximum eight years, with her earliest release date in May 2021, the New York Post reported.

Roberge is the youngest of three Canadians who prosecutors said imported 209 pounds of cocaine on a luxury cruise en route to Australia, where it docked and was raided, the report said.

Australian authorities called it the largest drug seizure on a commercial boat or plane the country has ever had, the BBC reported.

Roberge stood to earn a possible $100,000 from the plot, the Post reported. She was sentenced for trafficking 63 pounds of the drug — 50 pounds of it pure.

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.

But the judge criticized Roberge’s social media motivations for taking the cruise, the Post reported.

“It is a very sad indictment on her relative age group in society to seem to get self-worth relative to posts on Instagram,” Traill said. “This highlights the negative influence of social media on young women.” – READ MORE

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