A FORMER American Idol contestant has been jailed for four years after pleading guilty to trafficking enough fentanyl to kill 415,000 people.
Antonella Barba, 32, who appeared on the talent show in 2007, was arrested in October last year in connection with a drugs operation active in the Hampton Roads district of Virginia.
Former American Idol contestant Antonella Barba has been jailed for four years for trafficking fentanyl[/caption]
Barba made it to the last 16 of the sixth season of American Idol in 2007[/caption]
She pleaded guilty in July to charges of possession and conspiracy to distribute synthetic opioids.
She is reported to have been arrested after police waiting outside a stash house spotted her sat in a car on her own.
A search of the vehicle later uncovered 830 grams of fentanyl in a shoebox in the footwell in front of the passenger seat.
Fentanyl is a drug intended for use as a painkiller and anaesthetic, but is also used as a recreational drug, often mixed with heroin or cocaine.
Barba had been facing a sentence of up to 10 years in jail.
Court documents show that in court her legal team tried to attribute her criminal behaviour to her time on American Idol, saying: “One of the common themes is that the American Idol experience brought about a detrimental change in Ms. Barba’s life.
“Ms. Barba’s mother believes when American Idol happened and ‘the world intruded and interrupted her . . . dream of a career in architecture’ that this is ‘where it all went wrong’.
“Ms. Barba’s sudden move to Hollywood following American Idol ‘was a recipe for disaster’ and when it came to pass that Ms. Barba was unable to ‘achieve the results she wanted, it was devastating to her.”
Her lawyers also argued she had minimal knowledge of the operation, saying: “The extent of Ms. Barba’s involvement in this case is limited to delivering one shipment of drugs and that single instance forms the sum total of her relevant conduct.”
Barba appeared on the sixth season of American Idol in 2007, when she was 19.
She made it to the last 16 before being eliminated, and went on to release a number of singles and secure a number of minor roles in Hollywood films.
She also appeared on stunt game show Fear Factor in 2012.
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Barba had already caused some controversy during her appearance on Idol, having been photographed posing in a wet t-shirt on the fountain of a World War Two memorial in Washington DC.
She has also faced a felony marijuana case in Kansas, and in 2011 was arrested for shoplifting in New York City, FoxNews reported.
Barba’s legal team had tried to attribute her criminal behaviour to her time on Idol[/caption]
She had previously been arrested for shoplifting in New York City[/caption]
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