Former American Idol contestant Antonella Barba pleads guilty to transporting Fentanyl charges. The fall of a promising talent undone by addiction.
The fall of a promising American talent. A New Jersey woman known for making appearances on reality shows American Idol and Fear Factor has pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute the highly addictive opioid Fentanyl.
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 where they 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.
During surveillance, detectives approached a car where they found 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.
Promising talent undone by addiction: from high to low…
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.
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. She also made news during her time on the televised singing competition after lewd images appeared- see here 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?.’