When a 24-year-old Canadian porn star posted her luxury cruise photos on Instagram they were only a glimmer of the true cost she would soon face. Just before her trial in February, Melina Roberge pleaded guilty to smuggling $21 million worth of cocaine into Australian aboard a cruise ship. The Canadian native has now been sentenced to eight years in prison in an Australian court.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Melina Roberge | Instagram</span>
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Roberge kept her fans updated to her luxury cruise on Instagram while she sailed on the luxury liner the Sea Princess. But when the cruise ship docked, Roberge and two other people were arrested in one of the largest drug seizures on a cruise ship. The former adult film star cried as she told Judge Kate Traill she was recruited by her "sugar daddy" to smuggle the cocaine in exchange for a free cruise.
She explained how her drug smuggling escapade was motivated by a desire to take selfies "in exotic locations and post them on Instagram to receive likes and attention". The decision turned out to be a poor one. Judge Traill called the ordeal a sad indicator of the negative impact of social media on young people. She described their lives as a "vacuous existence" that finds self-worth in likes and becoming a "marketable commodity".
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"She wanted to be the envy of others. I doubt she is now," Judge Traill said. Roberge's two companions included 30-year-old Isabelle Lagace who was sentenced in November to four and a half years in jail after admitting to smuggling the cocaine in their cabin in order to repay a $20,000 debt. Andre Tamin, 64, also pleaded guilty and is waiting to be sentenced.
Roberge told the court in an affidavit about how she was "a stupid young woman" who was motivated by her superficial goals. "I have devastated so many people in the process," the Canadian said. She also explained how she met her "sugar daddy" in 2015 and they began an intimate relationship while he pimped her out. The man invited Roberge on a trip to Morocco in May 2016 and it was during this trip he proposed the drug smuggling idea.
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