The 22-year-old has also spoken of the moment she was caught smuggling cocaine into Peru and that if she had not been caught she could be dead
Drug mule Melissa Reid reveals “I knew what I was doing” when smuggling cocaine, speaking of the moment she was caught smuggling.
Melissa Reid arrived back in the UK days ago after serving just under half of her six year prison sentence in Peru.
When arrested in 2013 and put on trial, Reid and and fellow smuggler Michaella McCollum claimed they had both been forced to carry the drugs into Peru.
Reid says she regrets her actions and how she was embarrassed but would no longer deny her crimes.”I knew what I was doing. I made a conscious decision to do it and no one forced me.”
Melissa Reid the drug mule
She admitted to taking drugs, including cocaine and ecstasy and was in a downward spiral.
“I honestly think that if I had carried on the way I was going I would be dead right now.”
Melissa Reid told how it was only then she realized how serious it was after she had been arrested. “I was scared and made up a story thinking I would be believed.”
She was placed by the British embassy on a KLM flight from Lima to Amsterdam and then on to a connecting flight to Glasgow from Holland’s Schiphol airport accompanied by her father Billy.
This is her first taste of freedom after she and Michaella McCollum were found by officers with 24.2lb of cocaine, worth £1.5million, August 6, 2013.
The release comes after a judge in Lima last month granted an order to expel Reid as she met the legal requirements for release.
After the judge made the decision, she faced a wait of up to 20 days to allow the full release process to be finalized.
Her co-conspirator McCollum, 23, was freed in March under new legislation but was required to remain on parole in Peru.
They claimed they were forced into carrying the drugs but pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced to six years and eight months.
Despite their initial pleas of innocence, the pair were exposed as liars.
After being caught, they told investigators they had been held hostage by drug traffickers.
Text messages between the women also show they were close friends before traveling to Peru – and not strangers like McCollum claimed.
Drug mule Michaella McCollum
McCollum said she first met Reid, accompanied by a Peruvian man, at Majorca airport before they took separate flights to South America. But messages on their phones appear to show a much deeper friendship.
The first text from Reid to McCollum, dated July 31, 2013, reads: “Prepare yourself. I just arrived. All OK with you xxx.”
McCollum : “You just arrived. Wow. We are in travel agents now. Not 100pc what time I fly XX.”
Reid : “OK sweet cheeks.”
In later messages, when Reid tried to tell McCollum where to find her at the airport after her arrival in Peru, Reid wrote: “Buzzing to see you girl and only separated for like two days.”
McCollum : “I know, I can’t wait to see you.”
When questioned about the photos found on their phones, McCollum told Peruvian police the pair were asked by officers to pose for pictures with them but were too scared to tell them they were there under duress.
Reid’s father Billy has previously said the impact of his daughter’s crime on his family had been “horrendous” and spoke out in a video warning of the consequences of drug offences abroad.
Aug 2013: Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum – who had been on separate holidays in Ibiza – are arrested at Lima airport while trying to board a flight to Madrid after police find cocaine worth around £1.5million hidden in food in their luggage.
Sept 2013: Reid and McCollum – both aged 20 at – plead guilty to smuggling in a private hearing before a judge.
Dec 2013: The women are each sentenced to six years and eight months in Santa Monica prison.
April 2014: An application is sent to the Scottish Prison Service for Reid to serve the remainder of her sentence closer to home.
November 2014: Reid’s father Billy appears in a Foreign Office video warning of the dangers of drug crime.
June 2015: Prison transfer agreements are approved for both women and they are expected to travel to the UK “within weeks”.
April 2016: McCollum leaves prison on parole but may have to remain in Peru for a “considerable time”. Reid applies to be expelled from the country under an early release scheme.
May 2016: Authorities approve Reid’s application during a court hearing.
June 2016: Reid leaves prison and travels to Lima airport with her father and British Embassy staff, to come home as a free woman.