Reggae star Buju Banton has been sentenced to 10 years in a United States federal prison for his conviction for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Banton was also found guilty of another drug trafficking offense and a gun charge.
At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James Moody said that the 10-year sentence was the minimal allowed by federal guidelines. Banton’s attorney David Markus has requested that the Grammy-winning singer serve out his time in a prison near Miami in order to be close to his family.
Banton was busted by an informant working for the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2009. The singer told the informant he could broker cocaine, though he later testified that he was just boasting. Nevertheless, video and audio recordings made by the informant, including a video in which Banton appeared to be testing cocaine in a Florida warehouse, convinced the jury that he was guilty.