According to newly unsealed court documents, Antonella Barba — a singer who made it to the top 16 on the sixth season of American Idol in 2007 — was allegedly acting as a courier for a major drug ring when Virginia authorities arrested her nearly four months ago with two pounds of fentanyl.
Barba, 32, was indicted last week on 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.
Barba remains in police custody and will be held until at least Thursday, when she’s set to appear in court for a detention hearing.
Barba was initially arrested in Norfolk last October for allegedly selling or intending to sell 100 grams or more of heroin. She pleaded not guilty to that charge.
The indictment alleges Barba, who now lives in Los Angeles, was one of several members of a drug conspiracy that was active in Hampton Roads between late 2017 and the fall of 2018.
The indictment, which is heavily redacted, names two men as her alleged co-conspirators.
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In the indictment, authorities allege illicit narcotics were stored by the drug ring at an apartment in Norfolk. The indictment details a number of drugs sales starting in September 2017 through Barba’s arrest.
The indictment alleges Barba was delivering about 830 grams of fentanyl when she was arrested the morning of Oct. 11, 2018.
It was unclear Wednesday if Barba had entered pleas to the new charges she faces.
Her public defender, Suzanne Katchmar, could not be reached for comment.
A New Jersey native, Barba was an American Idol hopeful in the same season that saw Jordin Sparks crowned the eventual winner.
After Idol, Barba returned to college and earned her architecture degree. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly in 2009, she said she was working on a forthcoming album.
She said then: “I know the buzz might not be the same as it was in 2007, but it amazes me — almost two years later, I still get recognized!”