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Buju Banton gets 10 years in prison for cocaine trafficking

June 23, 2011 |  9:26 am

Buju Banton sentenced to 10 years in federal prison

Buju Banton was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison after being convicted of three counts related to cocaine trafficking.

The reggae performer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, has been in custody since his arrest in December 2009 in Miami after he allegedly attempted to buy a large amount of cocaine from an undercover officer. He could have been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

After a mistrial in September, Banton in February was acquitted of attempted possession with the intent to distribute but found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.

The convictions came less than two weeks after Banton, a previous Grammy nominee, won a Grammy Award for best reggae album, "Before the Dawn."

Banton can't record music while in prison, according to the Jamaica Gleaner, but will be allowed to keep his dreadlocks and practice his Rastafarian faith.


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-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Buju Banton performs in L.A. in 2006. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times