Former 'American Idol' star Antonella Barba blames show for drug trafficking crimes as she faces a decade behind bars
She was indicted on 11 federal charges for allegedly possessing cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl and was accused of being one of several members of a drug conspiracy active on Hampton Roads from September 2017 through the fall of 2018
Former 'American Idol' contestant Antonella Barba, who made it to the top 16 of the sixth season of the series in 2007 and is now facing 10 years in prison over drug trafficking charges, is blaming the show for her downfall.
We had previously reported that the 32-year-old New Jersey native was first arrested in October 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia, after authorities intercepted her vehicle and found she was carrying on her 830 grams of the synthetic opioid fentanyl — enough to kill 415,000 people.
She was subsequently indicted on 11 federal charges for allegedly possessing cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl in connection to the incident, and was accused of being one of several members of a drug conspiracy active on Hampton Roads from September 2017 through the fall of 2018.
Barba faced 10 years behind bars on each of the charges, which meant she was looking at a prison stint of 110 years. This past July, in a bid to seek a shorter sentence, she pleaded guilty to the charges.
In court documents obtained by Fox News, the 32-year-old pinned the blame on 'American Idol' for affecting her life to the extent that she had to turn to crime.
"One of the common themes is that the 'American Idol' experience brought about a detrimental change in Ms. Barba's life," the document stated, with her mother claiming that Barba's sudden move to Los Angeles following her exit from the show was a "recipe for disaster".
It said the exit from the show was "devastating" on her, and that the negative experience of losing out on achieving her dream and claim to fame was what set her life on a downward spiral that ultimately culminated in her arrest.
Her lawyers also argued that she played a minimal role in the drug conspiracy, stating Barba "had very little if any insight into the scope and structure of this conspiracy."
"In fact, prior to receiving the package, she did not know the type of substance or the quantity she was to deliver," the documents stated.
"Ms. Barba also did not participate in any of the planning or organization nor did she exercise any decision making authority. As indicated above, Ms. Barba's conduct in this offense was limited to this single delivery. That was her sole responsibility. She picked up a package and transported it from one location to another."