Buju Banton receives 10 year prison sentence for cocaine trafficking

But reggae star’s attorney says his client will appeal his sentence

Reggae star Buju Banton has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in setting up a cocaine deal in 2009, according to BBC News.

Banton was convicted of conspiracy to possess five or more kilogrammes of cocaine with the intent to distribute by the Sam M Gibbons US Federal Courthouse in Tampa, Florida in February of this year.

He was also found guilty of possession of a firearm and of another drug trafficking offence.

Banton could have faced up to potentially 15 years in prison, but Judge James S Moody of the Tampa Federal Court in Florida sentenced him to 10 years – the most lenient sentence possible.

He also decided to throw out the gun charges after accepting that Banton had not been carrying a firearm, and could not have been aware that any of his confederates were doing so, either.

Banton said in a statement: “The man is not dead. Don’t call him a ghost. The days that lie ahead are filled with despair, but I have courage and grace and I’m hopeful, and that is sufficient to carry me through.”

His attorney David Markus, meanwhile, added: “This fight is not over. We will keep fighting for him. [Banton] is my brother, and I’m going to keep fighting until they tell me to stop.”

Banton’s last album, ‘Before The Dawn’, won Best Reggae Album at the Grammy Awards earlier this year.