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American Idol singer goes to prison on Virginia drug charges

Antonella Maria Barba

NORFOLK, Va. – Antonella Maria Barba was sentenced to 45 months in prison for possessing with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl.

Barba, 32, of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, was arrested in October 2018 in downtown Norfolk, Virginia.

“[Barba] was parked in downtown Norfolk at approximately 11:05 p.m. in October 2018, when she was approached by law enforcement. A dog handler screened Barba’s rental vehicle with a drug dog, which alerted on the vehicle,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The canine officer searched Barba’s rental vehicle and discovered a closed shoebox in plain view on the front passenger floorboard. The officer opened the shoebox and discovered a plastic bag containing a large quantity of a white, rock-like substance.”

Barba told law enforcement she flew from Los Angeles to Washington-Dulles airport earlier that day, rented a car, and drove to Norfolk.

“The substance seized from Barba’s rental car was submitted to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Savannah Laboratory for forensic analysis, where a forensic scientist determined the substance to be fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance,” the spokesperson said.

Barba appeared on the sixth season of American Idol where she advanced to the top 16.

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