Convicted drug trafficker Cassie Sainsbury, known as ‘Cocaine Cassie’, has landed in Australia for the first time since serving her Colombian prison sentence.
Sainsbury, a personal trainer from Adelaide, was convicted of attempting to smuggle 5.8kg of cocaine out of Colombia in April 2017 aged 22 and served three years of a six-year sentence years behind bars in the notorious El Buen Pastor women’s prison.
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She was released free in April 2020 but had to stay in Colombia as part of her parole conditions, having only returned to Australia last week.
The 27-year-old arrived in Adelaide from Sydney on Tuesday on a Qantas flight with his wife Tatiana and journalist Jonica Williams around 2pm.
A cameraman filmed as the group left the terminal, indicating that a documentary is likely in the works.
Ms Williams tried to stop other photographers from capturing Sainsbury’s movements, The advertiser reported.
The publication said it was understood to have a deal with Seven Network, but details of what that entailed were unknown.
It was also unclear how any deal would work within Australia’s strict laws that prohibit people from profiting from their crimes.
Sainsbury’s father, who has not spoken to his daughter in five years, revealed last week that he is still furious that his family’s reputation is being damaged by his drugs saga.
Stuart Sainsbury said he ‘just wanted her to be happy’ and admitted his family’s continued scrutiny was always difficult to deal with.
“I’m still pretty angry about it. My family has been ransacked… I have an elderly mother to protect. I do not know what to say. You smuggle cocaine. You are doing your time. I guess she’s had her day,” he told the publication.
“I don’t expect her to come here. I don’t expect to see her. You can’t drag someone’s family through the mud and not expect to be upset. If she wants to talk to me, she knows where I am. I’m not going to trash it.
Mr Sainsbury said he had been branded a drug dealer because of his relationship with the 27-year-old.
“I don’t think there are too many people here who have anything nice to say about her,” he continued.
“I live in a small town just trying to make an honest living. I’m not a biker like everyone says at first and I’m not a drug dealer.
Cassie landed in Australia after revealing she would be jumping between Colombia and her home country after setting up a new life overseas.
“I’m excited to be going back (to Australia) yes – don’t get me wrong, my life is pretty much here in Colombia, and I’m starting a new English school, I’m married, projecting myself in the best possible way” , she recently said in a post on Instagram.
“We will probably end up between Australia and Colombia because obviously his [Tatiana’s] the family is here, so it will be like, a moment here, a moment there.
Despite spending 2 years, 11 months and 21 days behind bars, Sainsbury’s – who has lost weight and speaks with a slight accent – said she ‘wouldn’t change’ the experience of being locked up because that it had made her a “stronger person”.
“I can say that I grew as a person, I grew a lot, I learned a lot about myself, I learned a lot about people, I learned to analyze people better”, she said. 60 minutes in 2020.
Sainsbury will have to stay in Colombia for another 27 months as part of his parole conditions.
She initially faced more than 20 years in prison, but later negotiated a six-year sentence with a plea deal.