Embattled reggae star Buju Banton was sentence to 10 years behind bars on Thursday (June 23) by Federal Judge Jim Moody in the Sam M Gibbons Federal court in Tampa Florida.
Scores of Buju Banton’s close friends and family turned up for the artist’s final court date this morning. Many wept openly as the Judge handed down the sentencing.
The 10 year sentencing came after an emotional plea from Buju Banton children and many of his high profile friends such as Danny Glover and Stephen Marley. The reggae star was initially facing a minimum of 15 years for conviction.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, was found guilty in February of conspiring to negotiate a drug deal in a police controlled warehouse in Florida. He was found guilty on three of four charges against him.
Banton was found guilty for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine, using the wires to facilitate a drug offense and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offence. The charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug offense was dropped however.
Buju will serve his time at the FCI prison facility in Miami, Florida.
Buju Banton’s attorney David Oscar Markus has indicated that he will appeal Banton’s guilty verdict and will be moving to secure the artiste’s release.