Buju Banton Sentenced to 10 Years Behind Bars over Cocaine Charge

BY Gregory AdamsPublished Jun 23, 2011

Reggae star Buju Banton has been handed a ten-year sentence for a cocaine possession charge. In February, the Jamaican singer (born Mark Myrie) was found guilty by a Florida jury over his part in a late 2009 drug bust, in which he attempted to buy five kilograms of cocaine from an undercover police informant.

As Reuters reports, this morning's (June 23) hearing had U.S. District Judge James Moody insisting Myrie got off lightly, claiming ten years is the minimum sentence he could have dished out. A maximum would have had the singer incarcerated for 151 months (12-and-a-half years).

"This is a sad day for Mr. Myrie. This is a sad day for Jamaica," said defence lawyer David Markus. "He's a good man who has done great things in his life."

It's been an extremely up-and-down year for the singer, who won a Grammy for his 2010 album, Before the Dawn, in February, just before his trial.

Myrie did not make a statement in court today. He simply smiled as he was led away. The defence will try to have his sentence carried out as close to Miami as possible to be near his family. He had been living in the area since 2009.

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