A former contestant on "American Idol" was sentenced Thursday to 45 months in prison for her role as a mule in a fentanyl distribution ring.

Antonella Maria Barba, 32, of New Jersey, admitted earlier this year that she flew from Los Angeles to Dulles International Airport in October 2018, then rented a car and drove to Norfolk, where she was intending to meet up with a co-conspirator. Police had been watching the alleged co-conspirator's apartment. They searched Barba's car and found a shoe box full of 831 grams of fentanyl.

In a sentencing memo, Barba's attorney said Barba did not know what she had agreed to deliver and was paid only for transporting the one package. She knew only one of the six other defendants in the case, attorney James Broccoletti wrote.

"Her role was limited to that of a courier," Broccoletti wrote. "She simply did what she was directed to do, nothing more."

Barba appeared on the sixth season of "American Idol," finishing in the top 16. In the sentencing memo, Broccoletti said moving to Hollywood to pursue a singing career "brought about a detrimental change in Ms. Barba's life."

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