Doing It for the Gram: Smuggling Cocaine Because of Instagram Addiction


Social media addiction is a pretty serious thing, especially considering one cocaine smuggler’s claim that an Instagram addiction drove her to ferry the highly illegal substance around.

24-year-old Melina Roberge was sentenced to 8 years in prison for smuggling some $21 million in cocaine on a luxury cruise ship according to Resource Mag. The Australian Border Force found the cache of powder on the MS Sea Princess, a passenger ship that had made its way across the world with stops in Ireland, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Colombia, and Peru.

Roberge and her accomplice Isabelle Lagace were offered first-class tickets on the ship and given $5000 in spending money to take the cocaine along with them. The first-class ticket alone was worth $20k and Roberge was going to receive an additional $100k for successful completion of the transit.

Image via Matthew Barra from

But none of this is why she did it according to Roberge.

According to her the opportunity to take such a lavish trip and photograph it for her Instagram was too much to refuse. In what is perhaps one of the most thoroughly modern explanations for a given crime, she says the opportunity to take such pics and “climb” the ranks of social media fame were driving factors in her decision-making process.

Commenting on the case, presiding Judge Kate Traill said: “It is a very sad indictment on her relative age group in society to seem to get self-worth relative to posts on Instagram. This highlights the negative influence of social media on young women…It is sad they seek to attain such a vacuous existence, where how many ‘likes’ they receive is their currency.”

Roberge for her part claims to have seen the error in her ways and is committed to helping ensure others don’t follow her path. Nonetheless, she will serve a minimum of four and half years in prison and a maximum sentence of 8.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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