Australian drug mule Cassandra Sainsbury has been sentenced to six years in prison in Colombia.
Sainsbury was facing 30 years in jail after she was caught trying to fly out of Bogota's El Dorado International Airport in April with 5.8 kilograms of cocaine stuffed into 18 headphone cases hidden in her luggage, following a tip-off from the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
The South Australian arrived in court surrounded by the media, while her mother, Lisa Evans was also in court for the sentencing.
Breaking: Drug smuggler Cassandra Sainsbury sentenced to 6yrs prison. Could serve as little as 2.5yrs with good behavior & time served pic.twitter.com/kbdmFwQQgq
— Ashlee Mullany (@AshleeMullany) November 1, 2017
The 22-year-old could serve as little as two and a half years taking into account time already served and good behaviour.
Cassie Sainsbury's relatives arrive home from visiting her in Bogota prison
Cassie Sainsbury was a sex worker: report
US 'tipped off' Colombia police before Cassie Sainsbury's drug arrest
Accused drug mule Cassie Sainbury's uncle says 'she was aware of what she was doing'
She could also be eligible for home-based parole if she can establish a base in Bogota.
It's understood Sainsbury was also ordered to pay a fine of almost $130,000, however her lawyer is attempting to have that reduced.
“She was threatened to respect the deal she had made to arrive at the airport with the drugs,” Sainsbury’s lawyer Orlando Herran said outside of court.
Sainsbury arriving at court to learn her fate. Source: AAP
“The investigation has uncovered a larger operation and investigators suspect she was used as bait to distract the authorities whilst other people smuggled drugs out undetected.
“She isn’t a criminal, she made a mistake, she allowed herself to be tricked and she didn’t use the means at her disposal by not asking authorities for help."
A plea deal was originally on the table during a court appearance earlier this year until it was thrown out when Ms Sainsbury made the explosive claims that she had been forced to carry the drugs because she had been threatened.