Two Canadian cruise passengers who were previously arrested on drug smuggling charges in 2016 are finally admitting to their crime.
24-year-old Melina Roberge and 63-year-old Andre Tamine have entered guilty pleas in connection with the incident in August 2016 when the Australian Border Force (ABF) seized more than 200 pounds of cocaine from their cabins in Princess Cruise.
Roberge’s traveling companion , 29-year-old Isabelle Lagace pleaded guilty to smuggling the drugs earlier in November 2017. The former adult actress was sentenced to four-and-a- half years in prison.
Roberge and Lagace were then traveling together on a 51-day Princess Cruise voyage from the U.K. to Australia aboard the Sea Princess. The media later dubbed them as the “cocaine babes.”
The ABF boarded the said cruise after identifying the three ladies as “high-risk travelers.” It turned out that the ABF had been closely monitoring the said cruise, given also the many ports of call between the U.K. and Sydney.
The ABF then discovered 77 pounds of cocaine in Roberge and Lagace’s shared cabin, and another 130 pounds in Tamine’s room. The combined drugs are estimated to be worth anywhere from $21.5 million to $30 million . It marks Australia’s largest ever drug bust operations from a boating vessel or aircraft.
Lagace claimed in her sentencing in November that she carried the drugs in order to pay off a $20,000 debt. She also expressed remorse for her crime then. She said then: “It pains me to know that my defining years of womanhood will be spent in prison halfway around the world. This will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Roberge and Tamine, on the other hand, are scheduled to be sentenced later in 2018.