Four young North American men who were recruited by a former editor of Vice magazine to import $16 million of cocaine into Australia have been jailed by a Sydney court.
Canadians Robert Wang, 25, Kutiba Senusi, 24, Jordan Mykel Gardner, 27, and American model Nathaniel Brandon Carty, 23, each pleaded guilty to importing a commercial quantity of cocaine.
Vice Canada's then-music editor Slava Pastuk had offered them free flights and spending money to travel to Australia.
The only catch was taking along some luggage, which they picked up from strangers in Las Vegas.
Hidden inside their suitcases was 20 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $16 million.
All four were nabbed at Sydney Airport after stepping off a flight from Los Angeles on December 22, 2015.
Judge Dina Yehia in the Downing Centre District Court on Friday sentenced Senusi and Gardner to at least four years four months in jail, Wang to at least four years' jail, and Carty to three years four months.
The men were "low in the hierarchy of the drug enterprise", she said.
"These offenders were exploited by people who were ruthless, manipulative and persistent," she said on Friday.