Buju's lawyer wants judge to reconsider drug sentence

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 29 October 2012

bujubantonentertainer

Buju Banton's new attorney has asked a federal judge in Tampa to reconsider the ten-year prison sentence the Jamaican reggae singer is serving on two drug charges. Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is set to appear tomorrow in Tampa federal court for a resentencing on a gun possession charge. That charge carries an additional five-year prison sentence. The motion filed last week includes a letter to US District Judge James Moody from Banton's former attorney, David O. Markus. Almost a year ago, Buju was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offence, and using a telephone to facilitate a drug-trafficking offence. The conviction carried a 15-year prison sentence, but the judge in the court in Florida, James Moody, threw out the gun conviction, lowering Banton's sentence to 10 years. Markus represented Banton in the singer's two trials in Tampa in 2010 and 2011. He says Banton is eligible for a reduced sentence of five years and a day because he's a first-time, non-violent offender with "the support of his entire country" and a history of charitable works. (Jamaica Gleaner)

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