By CURT ANDERSON (AP) – 15 minutes ago
MIAMI — Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton is facing charges that he attempted along with others to buy a large quantity of cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer.
A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration affidavit says Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, traveled to Sarasota last week to make the purchase along with two others. The DEA was tipped off by a confidential informant who agreed to wear a recording device during the drug negotiation session.
Banton, 36, faces a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence. Banton was being held at Miami's downtown detention center Monday pending transfer to Tampa, where the case is being prosecuted.
A bail hearing was set for Wednesday in Miami federal court. The attorney handling that for Banton didn't immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.
According to the DEA affidavit, Banton contacted the confidential informant last Monday about a possible cocaine purchase. The next day, Banton and other men met with the informant at Sarasota's La Tropicana de Havana restaurant, where the DEA and local police had set up surveillance.
Banton allegedly arrived at the meeting in his silver Land Rover with the license plate "Jah One," according to the affidavit.
Eventually, the group went to a warehouse authorities had outfitted with audio and video recording devices to make the cocaine deal. An undercover police officer pulled out one brick of the 20-kilogram load, according to the DEA, and one of Banton's associate's sliced it open with a knife.
Banton, according to the affidavit, "instantly wiped the blade of that knife with his finger and placed that finger in his mouth in what appeared to be an attempt to taste the cocaine." After two more meetings at local restaurants between the informant and Banton's associates, authorities arrested the associates and then took Banton into custody Thursday in Miami.
The husky-voiced Banton has been a major star in his native Jamaica since the early 1990s with brash dancehall music and, more recently, a traditional reggae sound. His career has been stunted in the United States because of his attitude toward gays, including songs "Batty Rider" and "Boom Bye Bye" which glorify the shooting of gay men.
Associated Press writer Jennifer Kay in Miami contributed to this report.
DIS SOUN LIKE A SHOW TO HELL SMH
Monday, December 14, 2009
Posted by Met From Jamaican Groupies at 3:25 PM
(AP) – 46 minutes ago
MIAMI — Federal authorities say Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton attempted to buy cocaine from an undercover officer in Florida.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, has been in U.S. federal custody in Miami since Thursday. He faces a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
According to court documents, Banton and two others contacted a police informant last week about buying cocaine in Sarasota. Drug Enforcement Administration agents say Banton negotiated the purchase and was observed inspecting cocaine offered by the undercover officer.
The other men were arrested Thursday when they allegedly attempted to buy the drugs.
An e-mail to Banton's independent record label was not immediately returned Monday.
FROM MY SIDE MI HEAR SAY HE CONTACTED THE UNDERCOVER OFFICER AND NEGOTIATED THE DEAL..BUJU!
Posted by Met From Jamaican Groupies at 2:49 PM
Posted by Met From Jamaican Groupies at 11:12 AM
DEM SAY BUJU ALONG WID DI MAN WHEY PUT ON BEST OF THE BEST MEMORIAL WEEKEND A FLORIDA EVERY YEAR IS BUJU CO DEFENDANT. AND BEST A DI BEST SUPPSOSED TO PUT ON NEXT YEAR MAY , THIS IS A HUGE PARTY AN MI KNOW NUFF PEOPLE LIKE MISELF GO MORE TIME IS NOT LACK A MONEY WHY DEM PEOPLE YAH END UP INA DEM TINGS YAH IS GREED... DEM SAY THERE IS VIDEO , AUDIO AND MORE PAN DI CASE AND IT LOOK STICKY BECAUSE IF DI FEDS A WATCH DEM FI A WHILE DIS IS NOT THE ONLY CHARGE WHEY DEM A GO PLANT PAN DEM... WHEY MI A GET FI UNDERSTAND IS THAT BUJU NUH DIRECTLY IN DEH BUT DI PEOPLE DEM WHEY HIM SURROUNDED BY IN DEH..I GUESS HIM A HELP RUN DI TING INDIRECT.. BUJU HIMSELF IS NO STRANGER TO DI BADMAN TING BUT I TINK HIM WUDDA LEF IT A JAMAICA...KNOWING HOW FARRIN STAY...
Posted by Met From Jamaican Groupies at 7:44 AM