Busy pleads guilty to skipping US trial
MINNESOTA, USA (AP) — DJ Busy Signal, who admitted he left the United States 10 years ago before his scheduled trial on drug charges, pleaded guilty today to one count of failure to appear in court.
Busy, real name Glendale Goshia Gordon, could face between 12 to 18 months in prison and a fine of $3,000 to $30,000 under sentencing guideline recommendations.
His attorney, Bill Mauzy, told The Associated Press he’d ask for a sentence of time served. Assistant US Attorney Andrew Dunne declined to say how much time prosecutors would seek. A sentencing date has not been set.
Busy, 33, was charged in February 2002 with two counts related to cocaine trafficking, which carried a sentence of at least 15 years in prison. He fled the US before his trial was to begin in Minnesota and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He has been a fugitive for the past decade.
“You knew you should appear, and you didn’t,” US District Judge Donovan Frank said while asking Busy a series of questions.
“Yes, your honour,” Busy replied.
Busy was detained by authorities in London in May and accused of travelling with false documents, including a passport that listed a different name. He returned to Kingston and was arrested at the airport there.
He waived extradition on the failure to appear count. Mauzy said the extradition process was limited to that count alone.
Because of that, Dunne said, while the cocaine charges still exist, they were not a part of this process. The United States doesn’t have jurisdiction to prosecute Busy on those counts at this time.
Frank said once Busy serves his sentence, he’ll be given 45 days to return to Jamaica. If he remains in the US after that, he could be arrested on the drug charges.
Busy Signal is best known for dancehall tracks “Step Out”, “Nah Go a Jail” and “These Are the Days.”