Former American Idol hopeful Antonella Barba is charged with federal drug counts for ‘trying to deliver nearly TWO POUNDS of fentanyl’
- Antonella Barba, 32, indicted on federal counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and fentanyl
- Barba was originally charged in state court with one count of distributing heroin with an intent to sell following her October 2018
- Court paper say Barba was caught with 830 grams of the opioid fentanyl in her car in Norfolk, Virginia
- Barba first achieved fame when she appeared on American Idol during its sixth season in 2007, which Jordin Sparks won
- Her past criminal record includes arrests on shoplifting and marijuana possession charges
Former American Idol hopeful Antonella Barba, 32, has been arrested on federal drug charges related to a heroin-trafficking ring (pictured in October 2018 mugshot)
Former American Idol contestant Antonella Barba who was arrested in Virginia last fall on state drug charges has now being indicted on federal counts accusing her of being a courier for a heroin and fentanyl ring.
Barba, 32, was trying to deliver nearly two pounds of fentanyl when she was arrested in Norfolk in October, according to the indictment unsealed on Monday.
Barba was originally charged in state court with one count of distributing heroin with an intent to sell – a felony that carries a sentence of between five and 40 years in prison.
She had been out on $50,000 bond pending trial in that case, but on Monday she was re-arrested stemming from the federal indictment charging her with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.
Barba is due in court for a detention hearing on Thursday.
The court documents obtained by The Virginian-Pilot allege that the former reality show contestant was part of a drug trafficking operation based out of Hampton Roads from the fall of 2017 until her arrest last year.
Court paper say Barba (left and right) was caught with 830 grams of the opioid fentanyl in her rental car in Norfolk, Virginia, last fall
Barba first achieved fame when she appeared on American Idol during its sixth season in 2007 (pictured)
At 11.30am on October 11, 2018, Barba was sitting behind the wheel of a rental car and talking on her cellphone in the 500 block of Duke Street in Norfolk when she was approached by a police officer who asked for her identification.
Barba was allowed to drive away, only to be pulled over by another police officer a short time later. This time, a K-9 dog was brought in and found what was initially reported as heroin inside the singer’s car.
According to the federal indictment, earlier that day, suspect Justin Michael Isaac had instructed Barba to deliver 830 grams of fentanyl to an unnamed conspirator.
Her past criminal record includes arrests on shoplifting and marijuana possession charges
Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid used for pain management that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.
Barba has a past criminal history, which includes a 2011 shoplifting arrest in New York City and a marijuana possession case pending in Kansas.
Barba first achieved fame when she appeared on American Idol during its sixth season in 2007, which Jordin Sparks won.
She was eliminated just before the top 12 singers were chosen for the talent competition.
Barba caused a stir at the time after she was photographed posing in a wet t-shirt in the fountain of the World War Two Memorial, according to TMZ.
She also made news during her time on the televised singing competition after racy photographs of her were leaked online.
The pictures showed Barba in various stages of undress. She acknowledged at the time that the photos were authentic but they were leaked without her consent.
Barba also competed on the reality show Fear Factor in 2012 and had a small part in the 2017 film All About The Money.