A Former AI Contestant Was Sentenced In a Norfolk Courtroom

Antonella Barba, a singer who made it to the top 16 on the sixth season of American Idol back in 2007, was sentenced Thursday to 45 months in federal prison after pleading guilty in July to 10 drug charges, her attorney, James Broccoletti, tells PEOPLE. Barba, 32, appeared in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Virginia, on Thursday, where she learned her punishment for trying to deliver nearly two pounds of fentanyl to a stash house in Virginia back in October 2018. Ahead of Thursday’s sentencing, Barba declined PEOPLE’s requests for an interview. Prior to the hearing, Broccoletti had filed paperwork in court, contending his client — a first-time offender — should receive a light sentence. The filing, obtained by Fox News, argues Barba fell victim to the pitfalls of the fame she experienced after her run on the long-running reality show. “One of the common themes is that the American Idol experience brought about a detrimental change in Ms. Barba’s life,” the filing states. The papers also include testimony from Barba’s mother, who indicated her daughter’s abrupt move to Los Angeles after her time on American Idol was “a recipe for disaster.” In addition, the mother apparently said being voted off of the signing competition “was devastating to her,” derailing her dreams and leading her down a primrose path, leading to her arrest in 2018.