Former ‘American Idol’ Star Facing 10 Years For Drug Charge

Antonella Barba. (Photo courtesy Norfolk (Virginia) Sheriff's Office)
Antonella Barba. (Photo courtesy Norfolk (Virginia) Sheriff's Office)

NORFOLK, Va. – A former reality television star faces a minimum of 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

Antonella Barba, 32, of Point Pleasant, rose to fame as a contestant on “American Idol,” and later on “Fear Factor.” She was arrested in downtown Norfolk last October after authorities searched her rental car and found a shoebox containing a plastic bag “containing a large quantity of a white, rock-like substance.” A forensic analysis confirmed it was fentanyl, weighing 830.9 grams, according to the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Barba subsequently admitted she had landed at Washington-Dulles at around 4 p.m. on a flight from Los Angeles, and that she rented a car there and drove to Norfolk,” a July 30 statement from that U.S. Attorney’s Office said.  

A court mandate confined Barba to her home in Point Boro. It’s unclear if she is still in New Jersey.

Barba faces a maximum of life in prison, although the U.S. Attorney’s Office said sentence are typically less than the allowed maximum.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 21.