Jan 26, 2010

Buju Banton A Victim Of Entrapment?


Dancehall.Mobi news update – the plot has thickened in Buju Banton’s conspiracy to distribute cocaine case. According to court papers that were filed today in Tampa, Florida, Banton’s defense team may use an entrapment defense. According to Wikipedia, in criminal law, entrapment is when a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit an offense which the person would otherwise have been unlikely to commit.

In the court papers filed today, Banton’s defense reportedly states that the ‘confidential source’ [see the affidavit for details] who helped authorities to investigate Banton, had pestered him for months to join him in a cocaine deal. As a result of this, the defense is asking a judge to order prosecutors to disclose the identity of the confidential source, an individual whom Myrie reportedly met on flight from Madrid to Miami in July 2009. They allege that the confidential source is a “paid government informant.”

Today’s court papers stated: “During the long international flight to Miami, the confidential source (CS), after softening up Mr. Myrie with small talk, began discussing cocaine. Throughout the flight, the CS tried to interest Mr. Myrie in buying cocaine. Mr. Myrie, however, was not interested.” The CS they say, kept in touch with Banton, and relentlessly pressured him to sell cocaine. Some of the conversations were apparently recorded, and the defense states that the recordings captured Banton’s “repeated attempts to put off” the source. “Finally, on December 8, 2009, the CS was successful in convincing Mr. Myrie to meet with him. Just to make sure Mr. Myrie attended, at 12:50 p.m. the CS called Mr. Myrie. However, the tape of the call reflects Mr. Myrie did not want to meet. Nonetheless, according to the complaint, Mr. Myrie attended the meeting at 2:29 p.m. at an ‘undercover warehouse.’ At this preliminary meeting, the CI showed Mr. Myrie and a co-defendant a brick of cocaine. Mr. Myrie then went back to Miami.

Two co-defendants continued to meet with the source, and the co-defendants were arrested when they met the source in a warehouse. From the court papers filed today, Buju Banton’s lawyers are seeking information about the source’s prior criminal record, and how much money the source was paid for his help in this case and others.

Banton continues to be held without bail in Federal custody in Florida.



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