Reggae singer Buju Banton faced the music in court on Thursday (June 24), receiving a 10 year prison sentence for cocaine trafficking, stemming from a 2009 arrest.
Buju (real name: Mark Anthony Myrie) was busted by DEA agents in December 2009, after he allegedly attempted to buy over five kilos of cocaine from an undercover officer in Sarasota, Florida.
He was hit with charges of possession and intent to distribute.
Buju pleaded not guilty in early 2010, and a mistrial was declared last September, leaving the reggae singer off the hook on attempted possession with the intent to distribute charge he was facing, but guilty of three other charges.
His lawyers, David Oscar Markus and David Seitles, have focused their defense on claims that he was set-up by law enforcement. According to paperwork released by his council, Banton was merely a pawn in an entrapment scheme, set forth by the DEA.
“The facts and circumstances of the confidential sources’ contacts with Mr. Myrie display a deliberate effort by a paid informant to ensnare a perfect stranger, who happened to be sitting next to him on an international flight, into committing a crime, thereby ensuring the informant more money,” said his lawyers.
“The confidential source is a paid government informant. In addition to refusing to disclose the identity, the government has refused to identify the prior cases in which he has been involved, the outcomes of those cases, the amount of money he has earned making cases for the government, or even the amount he has been paid (or expects to be paid) in this case.”
Buju Banton originally faced up to 20 years behind bars.