Antonella Barba, former Point Pleasant 'American Idol' star accused of dealing heroin, charged by feds
Antonella Barba, the former American Idol star charged with dealing heroin in Norfolk, Virginia, in October, is facing a new set of legal problems.Barba, 32, was charged federally Monday morning as the Office of the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney dropped state drug dealing charges against her, officials and her attorney said.Her attorney, James Broccoletti of Norfolk, said he could not comment on the charges since he had not yet seen the indictment. The federal courts have yet to post the charges through its electronic document service.Barba, who had been out on a $50,000 secured bond since Oct. 27 on the state charges, was taken into federal custody Monday morning. She is scheduled for a first appearance in U.S. District Court in Norfolk in the afternoon. A detention hearing will likely be scheduled for Friday, Broccoletti said.Barba was arrested about 11:30 a.m. Oct. 11 on the 500 block of Duke Street, a residential and business area in downtown Norfolk. She was charged with one count of possession of more than 100 grams of heroin with intent to distribute it. She faced up to 40 years in prison. To learn about the toll of the opioid epidemic, scroll to the video above.PRIOR Antonella Barba, Point Pleasant's teen 'American Idol' star, accused of dealing heroinAfter flying into Norfolk en route to a recording session in Miami, Barba was on her cell phone sitting in the driver’s seat of a rented vehicle when a police officer asked for her identification, an attorney who spoke on her behalf said.
The opioid crisis in the United States continues to take center stage as the National Institute on Drug Abuse says more than 115 people die of an opioid overdose every day. Buzz60
“She disputes that she knew there were drugs in the car,” said Eric Korslund, a Norfolk-based criminal defense attorney, who spoke for her before Broccoletti was retained.Barba made it into the final 16 of the sixth season of American Idol in 2007. That year the show earned its second-highest ratings during its run on Fox and was one of the most successful television programs of all time, according to a prior Press report.Ken Serrano: 732-643-4029; firstname.lastname@example.org
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