SYDNEY, Australia — This pleasure cruise has sunk.
A comely Canadian tourist has pleaded guilty to smuggling $30 million worth of cocaine into Australia during a round-the-world voyage she and pal chronicled through sultry photo shoots on Instagram.
Melina Roberge, 25, and her pal Isabelle Lagace, 30, both of Quebec, had been traveling for 40 days aboard the Sea Princess when they were caught with two giant suitcases stuffed with nearly 200 pounds of cocaine as the ship docked in Sydney.
The seizure was one of the largest of its kind in Australian history.
Lagace, a former porn model, pleaded guilty in November, saying she agreed to smuggle the drugs to clear a $20,000 debt she owed. She was sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison.
Roberge had initially insisted she didn’t know the drugs were in the bags, but changed her story in hopes of a more favorable sentence. An accomplice, Andre Tamine, 65, also pleaded guilty.
The story made international headlines due to the fact that the two women had posted numerous bikini shots online as they made stops in the U.S., South America and the South Pacific.
The two were dubbed “cocaine cowgirls” — a reference to the free-wheeling, south Florida drug importers of the 1980s who were called “cocaine cowboys.”