Well well well, if it isn’t “Busted by the gram”! One, of the two worst drug smugglers ever, just got sentenced to eight years in prison. And guess where the police got the tip off from? INSTAGRAM!!
To clarify, this happened in 2016. But Melina Roberge (24) finally got sentenced for her crime yesterday. And you might be asking, ‘what exactly was her crime?’
Would have been safe to say Instagram and lavish living, but that was just the trigger.
Melina, along with her accomplice, Isabelle, were arrested at a dock in Sydney, Australia, for smuggling part i.e 35kg, of 95kg of cocaine!! The drugs were found stashed beneath dirty towels, inside their suitcases.
And according to the police, this is the biggest drug bust ever- through a ‘passenger stream‘, in Australia.
Now to the Instagram part…
The two ladies were on a luxury seven-week cruise in 2016– from Britain to Ireland, the United States, Bermuda, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile then Australia.
In fact, they had a great time touring the world on this $17,000 extravagant trip. The judge, Kate Traill, revealed the cruise was funded by Melina’s “sugar daddy”.
Probably carried away by fun, they made the biggest mistakes of their lives when they posted their adventures on Instagram! Now this served as a dead giveaway to the police.
It is still unclear where exactly they picked the drugs from but by the time they had gotten to Sydney, officers were at deck waiting to have their luggage checked.
“Multiple government agencies, including the Canadian Border Service Agency, the Australian Federal Police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, had been tracking the 900-foot ship’s voyage”, a RollingStone report revealed.
And thanks to drug-sniffing dogs, the girls who were meant to be distractions, rather became attractions.
The judge criticizes the smuggler
Judge Traill condemned Melina’s motivation for crime as a “very sad indictment” on her age group who “seek to attain such a vacuous existence where how many ‘likes’ they receive are their currency”.
“She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world,” the judge continued.
“She wanted to be the envy of others. I doubt she is now.”
Melina, out of guilt, broke down in tears– describing herself as a “a stupid young woman”.
She narrated how she first met her sugar daddy, whom she refused to disclose out of fear for her family’s safety. They met in 2015, and they began an intimate relationship- she became his escort. He invited her in May 2016, for a trip to Morocco– her first drug-smuggling voyage.
“I was meant to just be there and look like I was on holiday and look like a cover for everyone else. I am really sorry, I should have thought about the consequences and not what I would have gotten for it,” she said.
Her accomplice, Isabelle Lagace (29), had already been sentenced.
In November, Isabelle was handed a seven-and-half year sentence. They would both be eligible for parole after serving five years, and would be deported to Canada.
Also arrested was 65 year old Andre Tamin, who hid the remaining 60kg of cocaine in his cabin- on the same cruise.
It is unknown what his connection is with the girls, but he’s set to receive his sentence in October.