Former American Idol contestant, 32, Antonella Barba faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to transporting almost two pounds of of the highly addictive opioid Fentanyl
- A New Jersey woman who appeared on ‘American Idol’ could face up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a drug charge in Virginia
- Antonella Barba, 32, was accused of possessing with intent to distribute almost two pounds of fentanyl, the highly addictive opioid drug
- Police arrested Barba outside a stash house they were staking out on October 11
- The guilty plea carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison
Former American Idol hopeful Antonella Barba, 32, pleaded guilty to a drug charge and could face up to 10 years in prison (pictured in October 2018 mugshot)
A New Jersey woman who once appeared on reality television shows ‘American Idol’ and ‘Fear Factor’ has pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute the highly addictive opioid Fentanyl.
Antonella Barba, 32, will be sentenced in November and could face up to 10 years in prison.
Court documents state that a man named Justin Michael Isaac was traveling to Virginia for a delivery in 2018, but he was recorded on the phone saying he was sending someone else.
Police staked out a Norfolk stash house and arrested Barba with nearly two pounds of Fentanyl. She told police she’d arrived that day from Los Angeles.
Police started to look into her boss in September 2018 after receiving a tip he was a source of ‘kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin,’ The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Officers later obtained information that Isaac would be traveling from Washington, D.C. to Norfolk on October 11 to make a delivery.
He later told the person at the other end of the phone that he would be sending a female with the drugs, even though he was on his way at this point.
Investigators later had the stash house under surveillance in the 500 block of Duke Street about 10 pm that night.
Antonella Barba, 32, from Point Pleasant, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to distribute a synthetic opioid. She is pictured performing on American Idol in 2007
They eventually witnessed a car parked nearby with its headlights on and a woman on her own inside.
Investigators later approached the car to see Barba in the driver’s seat, along with a shoe box on the front passenger floor. The box contained 830.9 grams of fentanyl.
The guilty plea carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to a plea agreement filed in federal court and seen by USA Today.
She could face a possible life sentence and up to $10 million in fines, as well as asset forfeiture, according to the agreement.
She has remained at her family home in Point Pleasant by way of a court order. Isaac faces trial in August on similar charges.
Court documents and prosecutors said that Barba is one of eight members involved in a Hampton Roads drug conspiracy from late 2017 through the fall of 2018. Only one of the members is still free from custody.
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
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.
She also appeared in 2018 on ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ for a segment featuring other Idol alums titled ‘Where Are They Now?.’