Mar 10, 2012
Singer Buju Banton questions US evidence in appeal
MIAMI — Grammy-winning reggae star Buju Banton says the U.S. government is misrepresenting the facts in his case.
Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is appealing his 2011 conviction on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges. In court documents filed last month in Atlanta's federal appeals court, federal prosecutors said the evidence, including audio and video recordings of Banton's words and actions, revealed that the singer "eagerly brokered" a drug deal between a friend and undercover government agents.
In a reply filed Friday, defense attorney David O. Markus says the government's response omitted critical details from those recordings and from testimony during Banton's trial by a federal informant and other witnesses.
Markus says the informant relentlessly pursued Banton, resulting in improper entrapment.
Banton is serving a 10-year prison sentence.