Reggae star found guilty on three charges relating to cocaine deal
Buju Banton is facing up to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of three charges relating to him setting up a cocaine deal in 2009.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was convicted of conspiracy to possess five or more kilogrammes of cocaine with the intent to distribute. He was also found guilty of possession of a firearm, and of another drug trafficking offence, reports BBC News.
A 12-member jury at the Sam M Gibbons US Federal Courthouse in Tampa, Florida found Banton not guilty of a fourth charge of attempted cocaine possession.
Banton was arrested in December 2009 along with two others after video and audio recordings relating to the case were taken by an informant and by Drug Enforcement Administration personnel. He originally stood trial for the offences in September 2010, although that trial saw the jury unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
A video shown to the jury in the second trial featured footage of Banton allegedly tasting cocaine in a warehouse. The court also heard that the informant was given $135,000 (£83,705) by one of Banton‘s co-defendants.
Banton has been remanded in custody while he awaits sentencing. The singer’s latest album ‘Before The Dawn’ won Best Reggae Album at the Grammy Awards earlier this month.