A California man who enlisted a former “American Idol” contestant to deliver drugs to Norfolk for him was sentenced Friday to 14 years in federal prison.
Justin “Cali” Isaac, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen in federal court in Norfolk. The hearing was handled remotely, however, because of COVID-19 precautions.
Isaac has been held at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail since his arrest in March. He pleaded guilty in August to conspiring to distribute — and possession with intent to distribute — five or more kilograms of cocaine and 400 or more grams of fentanyl.
Isaac had been distributing large amounts of cocaine to Dante “Tay” Davis, of Virginia Beach, once or twice a month for most of 2017 and 2018, according to a statement of facts filed in the case. The amounts delivered started at about a kilo each time, then grew to about three.
The deals took place at an apartment on Granby Street in Norfolk, and hotels in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake, the statement said.
Isaac’s arrest came several months after he sent former “American Idol” and “Fear Factor” contestant Antonella Barba to Norfolk in October 2018 to deliver almost two pounds of fentanyl to a “stash” apartment Davis kept at the Wainwright Building. The multi-story apartment building is located in the West Freemason neighborhood in downtown Norfolk.
Barba, 34, was arrested after FBI agents found her sitting in a parked rental car outside the apartment building, according to court documents. The fentanyl was stashed in a shoe box on the floorboard.
Barba told the agents, who had been monitoring phone calls between Isaac and Davis, that she had flown from Los Angeles to Washington earlier that day. She rented a car after she arrived and drove to Norfolk to deliver the drugs, court documents said. She also said that Isaac directed her to do it.
Agents executed a search warrant at the apartment and found $161,412 in cash, heroin and cocaine, as well as scales and a money counting machine. At Davis’ home in the Kings Grant neighborhood in Virginia Beach, they found about $100,000 more in cash, marijuana, another money counting machine, and a Glock pistol with three magazines and 25 rounds of ammunition.
Barba was sentenced in November 2019 to three years and nine months in federal prison for her role in the scheme. She’s incarcerated in a minimum security federal prison camp for women in Alderson, West Virginia, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. She’s scheduled to be released Oct. 26.
Davis, who had a prior felony drug conviction, was sentenced to 19 years.
Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, email@example.com