Drug-Smuggling Former Stripper Avoids Extra Jail Time
A former stripper who smuggled ice and cocaine on flights has avoided extra jail time.
Alexandra Kobelke was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for helping to traffic drugs in the country, after flying between Sydney and Hobart in Australia 13 times.
From December 2017, the 26-year-old took thousands of dollars to her home state, but prosecutors have argued that her sentence isn't adequate.
Tasmania's Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has appealed against her sentence but the appeal was dismissed by the Court of Criminal Appeal in Hobart on Thursday.
Three judges agreed that the sentence was 'manifestly inadequate', suggesting a five-year sentence would be more suitable, but they dismissed it on 'discretion'.
Mitigating factors included the fact that Kobelke is only 26, that she had no previous convictions, and that she is due to be released on 5 July. She also entered an early guilty plea - this was taken into account during the appeal's hearing.
When she was sentenced, Chief Justice Alan Blow also acknowledged that she had a troubled upbringing. Kobelke had started using drugs aged just 13 - her mother had died the previous year because of long-term damage from substance abuse.
He also pointed out that she was a daily user of cocaine when she was committing the offences and when she was arrested.
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As reported by The Advocate in November, Chief Justice Blow said: "Although Kobelke was a worker, not an entrepreneur, this is a serious case of trafficking.
"The only appropriate penalty is a significant period of imprisonment."
Her non-parole period of 16 months, which was backdated to March 2019, is set to expire in three days.
Acting Justice Brian Martin said that Kobelke's role as a 'worker' as part of the drug smuggling should not be ignored - she knew she was involved with a huge operation and took on the role knowingly.
But he did say that the initial sentence wasn't too far from the range that they had discussed.
She was apprehended in January 2019 at Sydney Airport by police and was arrested.
Kobelke was found to be carrying $40,000 worth of ice (aka meth) and around $16,000 of cocaine. She was also found to have ecstasy on her person.
She had smuggled the drugs using vacuum sealed cyovac packages. She hoped to conceal the smell and flew under false names.
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