Buju loses retrial bid

To be sentenced on firearm charge

Jamaica Observer

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — IMPRISONED Reggae artiste Buju Banton, today lost his bid for a retrial in a Tampa, Florida court. Federal Judge James Moody denied Buju Banton's request on the basis that there is no need for a new trial because an Atlanta appeals court ruled that there was enough evidence to convict him on a gun charge.

Under the new ruling, Buju's sentence could be extended by an additional five years. He was originally sentenced to ten years.

A federal jury found Buju guilty of three drug charges and a gun charge in June last year. During a sentencing hearing Moody threw out the gun charge citing that Buju had never met or spoke with James Mack, a co-conspirator who drove to Florida from Georgia with a gun his car to buy five kilos of cocaine from a confidential informant. 

Mack and Ian Thomas, another co-conspirator, pled guilty to drug charges and were sentenced to five years.

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