‘American Idol’ standout faces decades behind bars for dealing heroin: Cops

A former standout reality television contestant is facing decades behind bars if convicted for charges related to a recent arrest.

According to USA Today, 31-year-old Antonella Barba was arrested on suspicion of felony heroin distribution last week by authorities in Norfolk, Virginia.

Initial details were scant, but the charge indicates she allegedly arranged to sell more than 100 grams of the illicit drug prior to her arrest.

The suspect first gained national prominence during the sixth season of “American Idol.” She advanced to the final 16 competitors in 2007, the year Jordin Sparks would go on to take home the top honor.

Her appearance on the show was marred by minor controversies at the time, most notably when photos of her posing topless on the beach surfaced.

“The pictures that were released of me — the ones that are of me — they are very personal and that is not how I intended to portray myself nor do I intend to portray myself that way in the future,” she said of the racy images shortly after their emergence.

According to the New York Daily News, she was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting in 2011 following an incident at a Manhattan Urban Outfitters location.

About a year after that arrest, she returned to network television with an appearance on the reality series “Fear Factor.”

As of the latest updates available, Barba remained behind bars at the Norfolk City Jail without bond. She is expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Monday.

If convicted, she could spend between 5 and 40 years in prison.

[Featured image: Antonella Barba, Norfolk Sheriff’s Office]