"American Idol" Contestant Accused Of Fentanyl Distribution

By Paul Gaita 02/18/19

Feds allege that former Idol contestant Antonella Barba was part of a major Virginia drug ring.

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American Idol's Antonella Barba was accused of being part of fentanyl distribution ring
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Antonella Barba, who appeared in the sixth season of the reality-competition series American Idol, was indicted on federal charges for allegedly distributing fentanyl, heroin and other narcotics for a major drug ring.

Barba was arrested in Virginia in late 2018 on charges of intending to sell 100 grams or more of heroin.

Barba pled not guilty to the charge, but now faces 11 federal charges, including 10 counts of distribution or possession of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute.

According to court documents, Barba was allegedly part of a drug ring that operated in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area from late 2017 to the fall of 2018. The ring reportedly used an apartment to store heroin, cocaine and money and made drug sales during the aforementioned time period in various locations throughout the Hampton Roads region.

The indictment also alleges that a member of the ring—Justin Michael Isaac—instructed Barba to deliver approximately 830 grams of fentanyl to another conspirator on October 11, 2018. Barba was arrested that morning and charged in district court with allegedly selling or intending to sell heroin. 

After pleading not guilty to the October charge, Barba was out on bail and awaiting trial in state court, but was taken back into custody on February 11, 2019 for the federal indictments. A detention hearing was set for February 14, 2019 in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Virginia.

Barba, a native of New Jersey and current Los Angeles resident, appeared on Idol in 2007 and reached the Top 16 before her elimination. She subsequently returned to college and earned a degree in architecture, and told Entertainment Weekly in 2009 that she was working on an album.

Barba, who most recently reunited with several fellow Idol contestants for a parody of "We Are the World" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! was also charged with two misdemeanor charges of shoplifting at an Urban Outfitters in 2011.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites. 

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