Woman Who Chronicled Round-the-World Cruise on Instagram Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Smuggling

February 27, 2018 Updated: February 27, 2018

A Canadian woman who chronicled her international cruise on Instagram has pleaded guilty to cocaine smuggling.

Melina Roberge, 24, enthralled followers with pictures from exotic locales during her cruise.

Many were left stunned when she was arrested and charged in Australia in August 2016.

Police dogs found 35 kilograms (200 pounds) inside of Roberge’s cabin when the MS Sea Princess docked in Sydney.

Isabelle Lagace, 30, pleaded guilty last year to cocaine smuggling.

Lagace said she helped because she needed to pay back a debt of tens of thousands of dollars that she had accumulated.

“It pains me to know my most defining years of womanhood will be spent in jail,” she told a court after being sentenced. “I feel remorse and anger at myself about being involved with people who are part of a dirty, dirty drug trade.”

She was sentenced to seven years in prison, although she will be eligible for parole in 2021.

Andre Tamine, 64, was also arrested and eventually pleaded guilty as well.

Tamine has not yet been sentenced.

The police dogs found 60 kilograms (130 pounds) of cocaine inside of Tamine’s cabin.

Overall, the cocaine had an estimated street value of CA$21.67 million (AU$21 million), making it the largest seizure of its kind in Australian history.

Officials from the Australian Border Force believed the group was working with a “very well-organized syndicate,” according to the Syndey Morning Herald.

Roberge had been posting numerous pictures during the seven-week cruise, many featuring Lagace.

Passage on the cruise cost CA$19487 per person, reported the Daily Telegraph.

The cruise launched from the United Kingdom and went to various locations in South America and across the Pacific before docking in Australia.

Roberge and Tamine initially denied involvement in the cocaine smuggling but pleaded guilty after Lagace was sentenced.

Roberge is set to be sentenced on March 21 while Tamine will be sentenced on Oct. 26.

From NTD.tv

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