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Reggae Singer Buju Banton Convicted Of Cocaine Charges

A jury in Tampa, Fla., has found popular Jamaican musician Buju Banton guilty of conspiring to set up a drug deal in 2009. After two days of deliberations, the 37-year-old musician, real name Mark Myrie, was convicted of three of the four charges stemming from an incident in which he attempted to arrange a $135,000 cocaine sale.

This was the second trial of the case; a jury last year could not reach a consensus, resulting in a mistrial. Banton has expressed his innocence, claiming that he had no intention of buying the drugs and was not present at the time of the sale, however a video produced by the prosecution showed him tasting cocaine at a warehouse days beforehand.

Banton has been making reggae and dancehall since the early 1990s, releasing over a dozen albums in the last two decades. Just last week, Banton's album Before the Dawn won the Grammy award for Best Reggae Album.

 A sentencing date has yet to be set.

[St. Petersburg Times]

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