“The case is over. My client accepted responsibility and the judge was very fair — very concerned about her,” said Barba’s lawyer.
On Wednesday, November 21, former American Idol star Antonella Barba was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison for trafficking fentanyl.
Barba was arrested in October 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia after authorities received a tip leading to a search of Barba’s rental car with a K-9 unit.
Inside The Bust
“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.”
According to People, the statement read,“The officer opened the shoebox and discovered a plastic bag containing a large quantity of a white, rock-like substance.” The substance was later determined to be 830 grams of fentanyl.
The former reality star was reportedly a courier who was to deliver the drugs to a stashhouse in Norfolk. NBC News reported in February that Barba was hit with a federal indictment featuring 11 federal charges including one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine, heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute, and 10 counts of distribution or possession of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl with the intent to distribute.
In July, Barba pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. Barba was facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison plus a hefty fine but her attorneys were pushing for 37-46 months.
“Where It All Went Wrong”
Antonella Barba appeared as a contestant on the sixth season of the hit singing competition show American Idol in 2007. Though Barba made it all the way to the show’s final 16, her mother is claiming in documents filed last week in a bid to get Barba a lighter sentence that the show was where “it all went wrong” for her daughter. Her mother contended that being voted off the hit show sent Barba into a spiral that led her into a downward spiral.
The documents appear to have worked. Barba received a 45-month sentence and will be credited for time served and could even take a year off her sentence if she completes a 500-hour residential drug treatment program.
People spoke to Barba’s lawyer James Broccoletti after the sentencing.
“The case is over. My client accepted responsibility and the judge was very fair — very concerned about her. Because she knows what’s happening, there’s now closure to this part of her life. It’s been liberating [for her],” Broccoletti said. “She is able to have a concrete understanding of where she is and where she’s going next. With all things considered, she’s in the best place she can be emotionally and psychologically.”