Buju appeals drug conviction
FLORIDA, United States, Monday December 19, 2011 - Jamaican reggae artiste Buju Banton has appealed his 10-year prison sentence, six months after being sentenced for conspiracy to set up a cocaine deal in 2009.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, wants the US Court of Appeal to reverse his conviction or order a new trial on the grounds that the evidence against him was inconclusive. His attorneys said he was the victim of entrapment.
The Grammy-winning artiste was found guilty in February of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking; and using a telephone to commit a drug offence. The firearm charge was later thrown out.
His lawyers argue that his participation was the result of improper government inducement.
Banton who won a Best Reggae Album Grammy for his 2010 Before the Dawn is serving time in a Florida prison.
The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could take months before it issues a decision.