A young woman who was convicted of trying to smuggle $21M of cocaine into Australia has been sentenced to 8 years in prison. Melina Roberge, a 24 year old Canadian, will serve at least 4 years and 9 months for her role in the elaborate scheme. Roberge, along with two Canadian friends, were recruited to smuggle over 200 pounds of cocaine on a luxury cruise liner that made stops across the globe, including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Colombia and Peru.

A dream vacation

Roberge met an older man, Andre Tamine, in Montreal in 2015, setting off the chain of events leading to her incarceration.

Described as a "sugar daddy," he is believed to be the mastermind behind the whole operation. After becoming intimate with one another, he recruited Roberge to work to take dates with rich clients. From there, he was able to gain her trust and bring her in on the cocaine smuggling plan. He allowed her to bring a friend, Isabelle Lagace, along for the trip. In theory, it should have been the easiest money the two ever made.

The two friends were given passes aboard the Sea Princess, as the vessel took them across the globe. While the passes were worth about $20,000 each, they also received $5,000 in spending cash. Upon completion of the trip, Roberge expected to be paid $100,000. All of this was meant to help fuel her Instagram career, which she claimed she was addicted to.

Misguided youth

Roberge blamed her addiction to Instagram for her decision to partake in the scheme. Taking pictures across the world and a hundred thousand dollars was too much to pass up on. The allure of social media fame is wreaking havoc on our youngest generation. This is just one story of someone going to extreme lengths to gain online popularity, but there are countless others.

The addiction to phones and tablets has only amplified the problem as kids are constantly on one of the major social media apps. They often use multiple apps when speaking to the same person, again amplifying their exposure to the pitfalls of social media.

While the judge was candid in saying she believes that Roberge can be rehabilitated, she also did not mince words when scolding her for her motives.

“It is a very sad indictment on her relative age group in society to seem to get self-worth relative to posts on Instagram,” said judge Kate Traill. (according to Fox News).

She believes she will one day learn a valuable lesson from all of this.

It is an incredibly expensive lesson to learn, though, as Roberge will be removed from society for nearly a decade.