'American Idol' Alum Antonella Barba Facing Federal Drug Charges

American Idol alum Antonella Barba is facing federal drug charges after allegedly working as part of a large-scale narcotics ring.

Barba was indicted on federal charges Monday after being arrested in Norfolk, Virginia, last year while trying to deliver almost two pounds of fentanyl, according to unsealed federal documents obtained by The Virginian Pilot. Originally facing state charges, Barba is now the subject of a federal indictment charging her with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.

Barba, who is also facing charges in a felony marijuana case in Kansas, had been out on bond while awaiting trial until the federal indictment was handed down and she was taken back into custody Monday.

According to the indictment, Barba was one of several members of a drug ring active in 2017 and 2018, circulating cocaine, heroin and cash in large-scale and small-scale sales in the areas of Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Federal agents allege that in September 2018, a co-conspirator also named in the indictment was observed giving about a kilogram of heroin and 4 kilograms of cocaine an unnamed co-conspirator. Another person named in the indictment was allegedly observed delivering 7 kilograms of cocaine to another member of the drug ring.

Barba's involvement in the drug ring made headlines in 2017 when she was arrested by Norfolk police after allegedly being ordered to deliver 830 grams of fentanyl to another member of the drug ring.

Ahead of her known involvement in the drug ring, Barba was known for competing in Season 6 of American Idol, making it to the top 12 before being eliminated. Jordin Sparks ultimately walked away with the victory that season, followed by Blake Lewis as first runner-up and Melinda Doolittle finishing third.

Barba's time on Idol was not without scandal, after semi-nude photos of her were leaked online during the competition. Being allowed to continued competing, fans were not happy that Barba's time on the show did not come to an end when the photos surfaced, as producers had disqualified Season 2 singer Frenchie Davis for a similar incident.


After being eliminated from Idol, Barba went on to compete on a 2008 episode of Fear Factor and act in a small film in 2017. In 2010, she was charged with two misdemeanors for shoplifting, being sentenced to community service in the end.

Photo credit: Instagram/Antonella Barba