A woman from Quebec has been sentenced to over seven years in prison for smuggling nearly $30 million worth of cocaine while on a worldwide cruise. Isabelle Lagace, 29, was arrested last August in Australia after border authorities discovered more than 200 pounds of cocaine in suitcases belonging to Lagace and two others. Lagace’s friend Melina Roberge, 23, and Andre Tamine, a 64-year-old man from Quebec are expended to go on trial next year.
“I have embarrassed my family, my friends, myself,” Lagace said at her sentencing on Friday in Australia. “It pains me to know that my defining years of womanhood will be spent in prison halfway around the world.”
Last year Lagace pleaded guilty to importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. In court, she said she became involved in drug smuggling the cocaine so that she could pay a $20,000 debt that she was ordered to pay, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. She said she was given an ultimatum. According to the Daily Mail, she was receiving death threats over the debt. The judge rejected those claims, calling them “vague and imprecise.”
According to the New York Daily News, Roberge had posted frequent social media pictures of the pair’s travels around the world. Lagace and Roberge boarded the Sea Princess in England before embarking on a two-month journey, making stops in Bermuda, New York City, Colombia, and Chile. Then, they headed to Australia, a country known for higher drug prices, according to the New York Daily News.
Lagace admitted to receiving cocaine from another passenger while aboard the Sea Princess. She will be eligible for parole in three and a half years. Lagace has been critical of Canada’s media coverage of her arrest. They have called her a "soft-core porn starlet,” referencing a past photoshoot she participated in.
“This will haunt me for the rest of my life,” Lagace said on Friday.