News

Big blow for ‘Buju’ - Reggae artiste now to answer four charges

BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Co-ordinator henryp@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 10, 2011    

Print this page Email A Friend!


JAMAICAN reggae artiste Buju Banton will be facing four charges instead of two when he goes on retrial in a US federal court next Monday. Judge James Moody yesterday afternoon dismissed a motion by Banton seeking to have the new indictment thrown out.

"...We are going to trial on Monday on the new charges. That's okay. We are ready," attorney David Oscar Markus told the Observer yesterday.

The four-time Grammy nominated artiste whose real name is Mark Myrie, had originally been tried last September on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence.

Banton will now be tried for:

* conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine;

* attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine;

* possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence; and

* using the wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence.

The prosecution had secured the new indictment with an additional two counts last November after Banton's first trial ended with a hung jury in September.

Banton is to be tried in the Sam M Gibbons Federal Court in Tampa, Florida. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years' imprisonment.

Banton was arrested in December 2009 as part of a sting operation following the arrests of two men, Ian Thomas and James Mack, in Florida and was slapped with the drug and weapon charges. The men, who pleaded guilty to the charges last year are expected to testify during Banton's second trial. They did not participate in the previous trial.

The second trial was to have started last December but was postponed so Banton, who is on US$250,000 bail and is subjected to house arrest, could spend time with his family.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Will the new Police Commissioner make a difference in reducing Jamaica's high crime rate?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT