Cocaine Cassie Sainsbury lifts the lid on her career plans after picking up a new skill behind bars as she’s released from a Colombian jail
- Cassie Sainsbury plans on becoming a translator after learning Spanish in prison
- The 24-year-old was sentenced to six years in jail for cocaine smuggling in 2017
- The former PT from Adelaide was released on early parole in Colombia on Friday
- Sainsbury must remain in Bogota for another 27 months until her parole ends
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Australian drug smuggler Cassie Sainsbury intends to become a translator after learning Spanish during her stint in a Colombian prison.
The former personal trainer from Adelaide was arrested at El Dorado airport in April 2017 after 5.8 kilograms of cocaine was found packed in headphone boxes inside her suitcase.
She was released early from her six-year sentence at El Buen Pastor women’s prison in Bogota on April 17 due to concerns of overcrowding in prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic but must remain in Colombia.
Cassandra Sainsbury (pictured), known as ‘Cocaine Casse’, hopes to work as translator after becoming fluent in Spanish while serving time in a Colombian prison
Since starting parole, her former lawyer Orlando Herran said she was already looking forward to the future and finding employment.
‘She wants to work and is in the process of getting the relevant paperwork, but as the offices are closed the process is difficult at the moment,’ Mr Herran told news.com.au .
‘As she speaks both languages she could work as an English teacher, translator, or something of the sort.’
The 24-year-old must stay in Colombia for another 27 months as part of the terms of her early release, but can live a relatively normal life, with the only requirement being meetings with authorities once every six months.
There are also restrictions in place that prohibit her from going to bars or venues that are deemed high risk.
Mr Herron said her legal situation was complicated as she was not allowed to leave the country as terms of her parole, but had also been given an order to be expelled from the country when her sentence is completed.
‘She can’t currently travel as there are no flights, [but] there is a possibility that they change this [so she can leave the country],’ he said.
Sainsbury was arrested with 5.8 kilograms of cocaine (pictured) concealed in her luggage at Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport in April 2017
The former personal trainer from Adelaide (pictured with her partner Joslianinyer Pico) will have to stay in Colombia for another 27 months as part of her parole conditions
When she walked free, Sainsbury left behind her Venezuelan fiancée Joli Pico, 29, who is serving time for theft.
She had been engaged to fellow Australian Scott Broadbridge at the time of her conviction but that relationship ended, and she found love with Pico behind bars.
‘Honestly, it was the least thing that I expected to find in prison,’ she told 60 Minutes in an interview on Sunday.
‘I’ve actually had experiences with women beforehand, but … I guess I never pictured myself in a proper relationship with a woman. But here I am,’ she said.
It has been speculated the pair- who became engaged after a nine-month romance- would reunite on the outside, but a fellow inmate said Pico still has a long sentence to finish and Sainsbury would need to leave Colombia.
During the interview, Sainsbury claimed she was raped by the drug mastermind called ‘Angelo’ who gave her the cocaine to smuggle in exchange for a $10,000 pay cheque.
Although she has always maintained that she believed she would only be transporting documents, she said the sexual assault made her realise he would follow through on threats made on her family if she did not meet his requests to take drugs.
‘He simply had the threat above me saying that if I didn’t do what I was asked to do, that I was … it was my family,’ she said.
A TIMELINE OF THE COCAINE CASSIE CASE:
April 2017: Cassie Sainsbury, then 22, is arrested at Bogota’s El Dorado international airport trying to smuggle 5.8 kilograms of cocaine inside 18 separate packages of headphones.
November 2017: Sainsbury is sentenced to six years in a Colombian prison for trafficking cocaine.
February 2018: Sainsbury splits from her Adelaide-based fiance Scott Broadbridge.
During this time Sainsbury begins studying Spanish, taking classes from volunteer groups and teaches English for two hours each day while behind bars
2019: Sainsbury’s parole process is due to begin, however, her hearing is delayed due to a high profile prison break, a food poisoning outbreak and allegations of corruption.
December 2019: Sainsbury reveals she is in a relationship with a fellow prisoner, a woman named Joslianinyer Pico.
April 2020: Sainsbury is suddenly released on parole after the president signs a decree releasing 4,000 prisoners over concerns of overcrowding in prisons during the coronavirus outbreak.
She must spend 27 months in Colombia as part of her parole conditions.