Reggae star found guilty of trafficking cocaine
Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton, who won a Grammy Award last week, was convicted Tuesday of conspiring to set up a deal to sell five kilos of cocaine.Banton (real name Mark Myrie) was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using the wires to facilitate drug trafficking. He was acquitted of a fourth charge. Banton was convicted by a Tampa jury after 11 hours of deliberation. It was the musician’s second trial; a jury deadlocked at his first trial last year. Audio and video evidence introduced by prosecutors included footage of Banton tasting cocaine at a Sarasota warehouse in December 2009. On Feb. 13, the day before his retrial began, Banton’s “Before the Dawn” was named best reggae album at the 53rd Grammy Awards. The Associate Press contributed to this report.
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