Former Playboy model Brandi Brandt was sentenced to up to six years in prison Friday for being part of a drug smuggling ring that brought cocaine to Australia.

Brandi Brandt

Brandi Brandt, seen here on the cover of the August 1989 edition of Playboy magazine, was married to Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx for 7 years. At her sentencing Friday, her lawyer says the 45-year-old has 'had it tough.' (Playboy Enterprises)

Brandt, who was once married to Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, pleaded guilty in April to a charge of conspiring to import drugs. Prosecutors said she was part of a drug syndicate that hid packages of cocaine on Qantas and United Airlines passenger planes that flew from California to Sydney in 2007.

Employees of an airline catering company allegedly collected the packages after the planes landed.

The California-born Brandt, 45, was accused of conspiring with others to import the cocaine between July and December 2007.

She's had it tough, says lawyer

Defence attorney Phillip Boulten pleaded for leniency, acknowledging that Brandt had made some poor decisions, but arguing she'd had a hard life with a dysfunctional upbringing. On Friday, District Court Judge Peter Zahra said Brandt's role was "substantially lower" than others involved in the ring.

"She's had it tough — she had a pretty mixed-up childhood," Boulten told the court during a sentencing hearing earlier this month. "She was using drugs as a teen, her father was using drugs. ... She replicated, in some sense, the lifestyle of her parents."

In the years between the drug ring's bust and her arrest and extradition to Australia in 2013, she'd reformed her life, gotten off drugs and found a job, Boulten said.

"She is unlikely to ever be in trouble again," he said.

Brandt will be eligible for parole in November 2016.