Looking for insta-fame? Here’s how you do it. You attempt to smuggle $21 million worth of cocaine on board a cruise ship. When the cops bust you, and you go to trial for the stunt, reporters will flock to the courtroom and snaps lots of pictures of you, crying, as the judge hands down the sentence. You may go to jail, but you’ll be famous–for one fleeting moment.
That is exactly what has happened to a Canadian who tried to sneak some cocaine onto an Australian cruise ship. “Melina Roberge, 24, sobbed as she was sentenced in a Sydney court on Wednesday for plotting to import the drugs on board the Sea Princess ship in August 2016,” The Daily Mail notes.
Roberge and two others were arrested with 209 pounds of cocaine. Why would she attempt such a thing? Reports indicate she was addicted to the attention she was receiving on Instagram.
Judge Kate Traill had harsh words for Roberge and her social media addiction. Judge Traill said Roberge wand to be the “envy of others.”
Roberge was traveling with porn star Isabelle Lagace. As the judge noted, the pair were fixated on taking selfies “in exotic locations [to] post them on Instagram to receive likes and attention.”
Judge Traill went so far as to label Roberge’s lifestyle a “vacuous existence.”
“She wanted to be the envy of others,” Judge Traill quipped. “I doubt she is now.”
If she intended to parade her lifestyle publically, why would she chose a career in smuggling? That was part of the deal, according to the prosecution. In exchange for carrying the drugs, the cruise was paid for by her contacts.
Isabelle Lagace was also found guilty. She had said the money she earned would have been used to pay of a $20,000 debt. She’ll be serving more than four years in prison.
“In an affidavit tendered to court,” DM notes, “Roberge wrote that at the time she was ‘a stupid young woman who was governed by a superficial desire to take pictures of myself in exotic locations and post them on Instagram to receive likes and attention’.”
“I have devastated so many people in the process,” she said.
“I was meant to just be there and look like I was on holiday and look like a cover for everyone else. Other people would be there to look after the drugs,” she said.
She claims to have wised up, though. Prison has exposed her to the other side of drug addiction.
“I do not want to be part of that. I want to be able to help them,” she said.
Lagace seems less remorseful. When pressed, she plagiarized a bit of sarcasm that has reached the point of tired cliche: “If I offend you, cry me a river,” she wrote in a post. “I’ll bring snacks and a raft. I will literally float down your tears; eating chips and working on my tan.”