'American Idol' Alum Antonella Barba Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking Case

Former American Idol contestant Antonella Barba has been sentenced to 45 months in prison after pleading guilty in July to possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute 400 grams or more, the U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of Virginia announced Friday, as per CNN.

Barba, who made it to the Top 16 on the sixth season of American Idol in 2007, was arrested in Virginia in October 2018 as part of an investigation into what police suspected was a local drug ring. Barba was taken into custody by police after being found in a rental car with nearly two pounds fentanyl in her possession and charged with a felony charge of distributing.

According to a statement from prosecutors: "A dog handler screened Barba’s rental vehicle with a drug dog, which alerted on the vehicle. The canine officer searched Barba’s rental vehicle and discovered a closed shoebox in plain view on the front passenger floorboard."

"The officer opened the shoebox and discovered a plastic bag containing a large quantity of a white, rock-like substance. Barba subsequently admitted she had landed at Washington-Dulles at around 4:00 p.m. on a flight from Los Angeles, and that she rented a car there and drove to Norfolk," it continues. "The substance seized from Barba’s rental car was submitted to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Savannah Laboratory for forensic analysis, where a forensic scientist determined the substance to be fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, with a total weight of 830.9 grams."

Barba was then accused in an indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Virginia of serving as a courier for a drug trafficking ring from late 2017 through the fall of 2018. The singer was released from jail two weeks after her October arrest on $50,000 bond, but taken into custody again on February 2019, when she was charged with one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and one count of conspiracy.

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In addition to American Idol, Barba also competed on an episode of Fear Factor, and also appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live for a 2018 segment featuring American Idol contestants of the past seasons.

Photo credit: Steve Mack/Getty Images

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