A Canadian citizen arrested for trying to smuggle $21 million in cocaine into Australia blamed her addiction to Instagram selfies for her crime.
Instagram model Melina Roberge, 24, was sentenced in a Sydney, Australia, court on April 18. The suspect broke down in tears when a judge said that wanting to be “the envy of others” drove the model to her attempt to smuggle 209 pounds of cocaine into Australia, the Daily Mail reported.
Roberge was caught with the drugs on the Sea Princess cruise ship in August of last year. The confiscation of the shipment was the largest amount ever pulled in from a cruise ship docking in Australia.
Judge Kate Traill added that the crime was a result of Roberge’s desire to be seen “in exotic locations and post them on Instagram to receive likes and attention.”
The judge also said that the case was an example of how social media has harmed a generation of young people and charged that the suspect was living a “vacuous existence.” The judge added that seeking likes for self-worth is making people a “marketable commodity.”
“She wanted to be the envy of others. I doubt she is now,” Judge Traill added.
Roberge admitted that she arranged to be a drug mule with a “sugar daddy” in exchange for a free vacation to Australia and the cruise ship passage.
The Instagram model was arrested with former porn actress Isabelle Lagace, who in November was sentenced to four and a half years in prison, and 64-year-old Andre Tamin, who will be sentenced later,
In a statement to the court, Roberge admitted 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.” Adding, “I have devastated so many people in the process.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.