Buju Banton agreed Wednesday to be transferred from Miami to Tampa, where he faces federal drug charges. Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, is accused along with two others of trying to buy more than five kilograms of cocaine last week from an undercover law-enforcement officer in Sarasota. Banton was arrested Thursday at his home in Tamarac. The charges carry a maximum setence of life in prison, his lawyer said.
Wearing a beige jail jumpsuit and shackles, Banton, 36, sat expressionless in the front row of the Miami federal courtroom Wednesday morning, his trademark dreadlocks pulled back off his narrow face and rolled into a bundle.
Occasionally, he looked across the courtroom where, in the back row, his publicist and two members of the local Jamaican Consulate observed the proceedings.
The only time Banton spoke was when he uttered his real name and age, and confirmed to U.S. Magistrate Judge William Turnoff that he was indeed waiving his bail hearing in Miami to be transferred to Tampa.
«He’s a very spiritual person. He’s a very positive person,» his attorney, Herbert Erving Walker III, said about his mood. «He’s confident he’s going to be exonerated.»
Walker added that Banton, whose album Rasta Got Soul is nominated for the Grammy Reggae Album of the Year, is looking forward to «getting back to doing what he does, which is make music for the people of the world.»
SOURCE: Miami Hearld
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