Cocaine Cassie's prison lover ‘sad’ at early release
The fiancee of Australian drug smuggler Cassandra "Cocaine Cassie" Sainsbury has revealed she's "sad" she's been separated from her partner.
Joli Pico began a relationship with the former personal trainer from Adelaide inside El Buen Pastor prison in Bogota after she was jailed for six years in 2017 for attempting to smuggle 5.8 kilos of cocaine out of Colombia.
The 29-year-old Venezuelan woman proposed to Sainsbury after a nine-month romance behind bars.
But Sainsbury was released on parole last week after serving two years, 11 months and 21 days of her sentence due to concerns of overcrowding in prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision has meant Pico remains in jail alone while she sees out the rest of her sentence for theft.
"She's sad because her partner left," a fellow inmate told a news.com.au in Bogota, adding the pair still plan to be together despite the obstacles.
Sainsbury left prison on April 13, something the prison lovers "had expected" to happen.
"She is with a very close friend (of Joli's)," the inmate explained, saying the friend had picked her up as Sainsbury has no friends in the country.
However, plans for a reunion soon have been thwarted, with the source explaining Pico "still has a long sentence to see out".
Sainsbury, who will have to stay in Colombia for another 27 months as part of her parole conditions, is said to want to head back to Australia.
"She wants to leave the country but cannot," the source explained, adding she would do so without her partner.
"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.
The Channel 9 program had reported Pico was due to get parole shortly. The exact details of Pico - whose full first name is Joslianinyer but is known as Joli - aren't known.
During the interview, Sainsbury claimed she was raped by the drug mastermind who gave her the 5.8kg of cocaine she attempted to smuggle in a bid to pocket a $10,000 pay cheque.
Recounting the days leading up to the airport bust, Sainsbury said she checked in at a local hotel where she met a 39-year-old Brazilian drug dealer she refers to as "Angelo".
In the days that followed, he took her to his apartment where Sainsbury claims her drink was spiked before she was sexually assaulted.
"He was saying that I had to be there with him, that I had to do what he wanted, that I didn't have a choice," she told 60 Minutes reporter Liam Bartlett via Skype.
"And then it was, he gave me a drink. And it was almost like, like I felt like I was getting drunk, like it was like, I was getting tipsy.
"And from there, he basically, he forced my clothes off …"
Sainsbury, who has claimed she didn't realise she would be smuggling drugs until the last minute, said it was this sexual attack that led her to believe Angelo would follow through on threats he made towards her family if she didn't go through with the plot.
"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, claiming he threatened to kill her sister and her former fiance Scott Broadbridge.
"I felt like I had to go through with it, because I couldn't make somebody else pay for my mistake."
Throughout the interview, her first since being released last week, Bartlett pushed Sainsbury on parts of her story that didn't appear to add up.
"Police opened your bag and they find the 5.8 kilos of cocaine, this is only hours, couple of hours after Angelo has threatened your loved ones with death and it's only days after you say you were raped by this drug mastermind," he said.
"You're standing there with the police and you have the hard evidence of this, but you chose not to say a single thing, to anyone in that room about any of that.
"Not to anybody in authority that could possibly help you. Now, explain that to me, how can we believe that's possible?"
Sainsbury broke down when she explained people thought she was "stupid" for not remembering key evidence that could have helped her, admitting she accepted the courier job because she "needed the money".
"I know how it sounds, because obviously I accepted to come into it for money, I needed money, but I wasn't exactly like, I came there thinking, yes I'm going to go and smuggle drugs, it wasn't like that," she said.
"But when I got there, I knew something was weird, I knew something was off and it was like I'm here, like I already had both feet stuck in the sand."
Originally published as Cocaine Cassie's prison lover devastated