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Former 'American Idol' Alum Antonella Barba Given Federal Prison Sentence

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By Ben Robinson III

American Idol has been making dreams come true since its debut on FOX back in 2002. And during that time it has introduced us to many wonderful artists who have gone on to secure fabulous careers. Some of the celebrities born from the series include first winner Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Jordin Sparks and country superstar Carrie Underwood as well as other iconic alumni such as Oscar award winning actress Jennifer Hudson, country star Kelly Pickler and Clay Aiken.

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But for all of the successes there's also a long line of folks who spiraled out of control after their time in the American Idol spotlight. Though they all arrive with stars in their eyes prepared to run away to Hollywood with their golden tickets things don't always go as planned. And sometimes once contestants have had their time in the spotlight things are never the same once again. As was the case with Antonella Barba, who appeared on season six of American Idol in 2007.

Originally from Point Pleasant, New Jersey Barba captivated audiences with her beautiful voice during the 2007 season of American Idol until she was released early during the season before advancing to the top 12. Afterward she went back to college to better herself but eventually, tragedy found her when she was arrested for drug possession. According to Wikipedia;

In court documents made public in February 2019, Barba was indicted and arrested on 11 federal charges. These included "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". She is accused of acting as a courier for a drug ring

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Barba was facing ten years in Federal Prison, awaiting her sentencing since Spetmeber. Now her sentence has finally been handed down and according to APP she will be singing for her support behind bars in federal prison for the next forty-five months.

Antonella Barba, the former "American Idol" contestant from Point Pleasant, has been sentenced to 45 months in federal prison for possession of nearly two pounds of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl with intent to distribute it. The sentence was handed down by Judge Arenda Wright Allen in U.S. District Court, Norfolk, Virginia, during an hour-long hearing Thursday morning. According to the courtroom minutes, Barba was also ordered to undergo five years of supervised release once her sentence ends.

But there may be a silver lining for her sentencing. From APP;

Barba is due to serve 3 years, 9 months on paper, but she has a chance to end up serving a little under two years. Randall Leeman, one of Barba’s attorneys, said she has about three months credit for time served. While the federal prison system abolished parole long ago, prisoners can get a 15 percent reduction of their term for good behavior. But Barba can also reduce her sentence by an additional year if she successfully completes a 500-hour residential drug treatment program that the court has ordered her to enroll in while in custody.

Hopefully, Barba will take this time to re-evaluate her future and get back to entertaining audiences who miss her beautiful voice.

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