Glamorous cruise ship cocaine importer Melina Roberge has been sentenced to eight years in prison by a female judge who delivered a blistering attack on "vacuous" and "negative" Instagram.
She was one of the three Canadians who smuggled $22.5 million of cocaine on a cruise ship that entered New Zealand.
Roberge, 24, was part of a trio found with four suitcases containing 95kg of cocaine after the Sea Princess was stopped in Sydney on August 28, 2016, during a round-the-world cruise.
The trio used the 51-day cruise from the UK through Latin America and New Zealand before arriving in Australia to transport more than $22.5 million worth of cocaine.
Roberge wept silently as she received both a longer maximum and minimum sentence than her co-accused, 30-year-old former porn star Isabelle Lagace, who had received a discount for an early guilty plea.
Roberge will serve a minimum four years and nine months in prison, with her earliest release date in May 2021, three months after Lagace's non parole period expires, reports News.com.au.
The 24-year-old, the youngest of three Canadians who imported 95kg cocaine on a luxury cruise, made world headlines when she and Lagace's Instagram posts of their exotic port stops.
On Wednesday, NSW District Court Judge Kate Traill attacked one of Roberge's motivation for taking the drug cruise.
"It is a very sad indictment on her relative age group in society to seem to get self worth relative to posts on Instagram," Judge Traill said while addressing a sometimes tearful Roberge.
"It is sad they seek to attain such a vacuous existence where how many likes they receive are their currency.
"She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world.
"This highlights the negative influence of social media on young women."
Judge Traill, who also accepted that Roberge's motivation to do the drug run was financial, revealed that the offender had been sexually involved with the "sugar daddy" who recruited her.
Wearing a white jacket over a black top and pants, her face carefully made up and long brown hair drawn up into a ponytail, Roberge bit her lip and wiped her eyes with a tissue in court.
Judge Traill said Roberge had begun a sexual relationship with a "much older man", her so-called "sugar daddy".
"He charmed her and spoiled her and became intimately involved with her," Judge Traill said.
The sugar daddy enticed her to work as an escort and she slept with men he introduced her to in nightclubs.
Roberge, who stood to earn a possible $100,000 from the $21m cocaine plot, was being sentenced for trafficking 29kg — 23kg of it pure — of the total importation.
She and travel partner Lagace made international headlines with the Instagram photos of themselves in bikinis at exotic stops en route to Sydney.
The pair and a third French Canadian drug plotter, Andre Tamine, were arrested in August 2016 when MS Sea Princess berthed in Sydney and Australian Border Force officials raided their cabins.
During sentencing submissions last month, Roberge revealed a "sugar daddy" had recruited her and Lagace after she earned 10,000 euro working as an escort in Morocco.
News.com.au revealed exclusively that Roberge was pimped by "my sugar daddy" with strange men at nightclubs prior to taking the fateful drug cruise.
Court documents released after sentencing submissions showed the then 22-year-old was given gifts and money and "if I was interested" she would sleep with the men.
In June 2016 she said "my sugar daddy contacted me", and she became a last-minute replacement on the MS Sea Princess.
Roberge and Lagace were flown first class to the UK to join the cruise ship and act as the glamorous foil for the real business of the drug importation.
The two were given first class cruise tickets worth $20,000 and 4000 euro spending money.
Roberge was told she would be acting as a decoy and was encouraged "to take pictures of myself in exotic locations and post them on Instagram to receive 'likes' ".
The Sea Princess stopped at Bermuda, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Tahiti before berthing in Sydney six weeks later.
It was in Peru that Roberge said she believed, due to multiple trips ashore by four men on the cruise involved in the drug deal, that the cocaine was brought on board.
She told a Sydney court last month that she had been "excited" about taking the luxury trip which she could not have afforded to pay for.
But she had argued with her then boyfriend Jo before she left, with his texting her "We fight all the time because of your f***ing drug trip".
And since her arrest and incarceration in different maximum security Sydney women's prisons, she had regretted her actions.
Roberge has made a court apology to "the people of Australia" and said since being in jail, "I have come across people struggling with addiction. I don't want to be part of that."
Lagace was sentenced to a maximum seven-and-a-half, minimum four-and-a-half years in prison after making an early guilty plea.
Tamine, 67, will be sentenced at a later date.