A New Jersey woman who appeared on American Idol and Fear Factor now faces jail time after pleading guilty to possession of nearly two pounds of fentanyl following an arrest in Virginia last year.
Antonella Barba, 32, of Point Pleasant, NJ this week pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 400 grams of the drug, court documents indicate. According to a plea agreement, she faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, but could see a life sentence and a maximum of $10 million in fines.
Barba was arrested in Norfolk on Oct. 11 last year, when police found a shoebox inside her parked rental car that held “a plastic bag containing a large quantity of a white, rock-like substance.” Forensic testing later determined the substance to be 830.8 grams of fentanyl.
Barba’s arrest, court documents indicate, was in connection with an investigation into a man named Justin Michael Isaac, of California, who prosecutors allege was a “source for kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin.” Prosecutors say that Isaac delivered drugs to a stash house in Norfolk, which police began surveilling last year.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Isaac will plead guilty to charges related to the case next month.
Following her arrest, Barba told police that had landed at nearby Dulles International Airport, where she rented the vehicle she drove to Norfolk. It is not clear where Barba took possession of the drugs.
Barba appeared on American Idol’s sixth season in 2007, when she reached the show’s top 16, but failed to make the show’s final cut. That same year, she also made headlines following a leak of semi-nude photos that caused a controversy that some fans feared would get her kicked off the show.
Several years later, in 2012, Barba appeared on reality TV again, this time as a contestant on NBC’s Fear Factor. In the episode in which she appeared, Barba was eliminated in the first round.