Grammy-winning reggae artist Buju Banton sentenced to over 10 years in prison

June 24th, 2011 - 4:15 am ICT by BNO News  

TAMPA, FLORIDA (BNO NEWS) — Grammy-winning reggae artist Buju Banton on Thursday was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for cocaine trafficking, prosecutors said.

Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was convicted in a jury trial in Tampa, Florida, on February 22. The popular singer was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison by United States District Judge James Moody.

Myrie, 37, of Jamaica, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and a concurrent term of 48 months for aiding and abetting the use of a communication device during a drug trafficking crime.

Furthermore, the Jamaican star avoided five additional years behind bars after Judge Moody granted a defense motion to dismiss a firearm charge. Last year, a trial on the same charges ended in mistrial as jurors deadlocked.

According to court documents, Myrie introduced a co-conspirator to a confidential source which resulted in the undercover sale of five kilograms of cocaine for $135,000. The incident took place during an investigation by y the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Sarasota Police Department.

Buju Banton is widely recognized as an international reggae star. He has won four Grammy Awards for his records Rasta Got Soul (2009), Too Bad (2007) Friends for Life (2004) and Inna Heights (1999).

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