Published Feb 22, 2011In late 2009, Jamaican reggae sensation Buju Banton was arrested in Florida after an attempt to purchase five kilograms of cocaine from what turned out to be an undercover police informant. Last September, the performer born Mark Myrie had the benefit of a mistrial. Today (February 22), however, he has been found guilty.
According to various media reports, Banton was found guilty by a U.S. federal court for three of the four charges initially laid on him after 11 hours of deliberation over two days, including the charge of conspiring to deal cocaine. When he was read the sentence, Buju reportedly turned around and blew kisses to his supporters in the court room as he said "thank you."
Banton's lawyer David Markus told the Associated Press, "Obviously we are all upset and disappointed and emotional... The only person who seems to be okay is Buju. He told us he was happy that he fought, knowing he was innocent."
A date for Banton's sentencing has not been set, although he is likely facing at least 15 years in prison. Markus plans to appeal the ruling and will try to get Banton out of jail on bond for now.