Buju Banton Facing 20 Years in Prison After Drug Conviction
2/22/2011 11:50pm EST
Reggae star Buju Banton is facing up to 20 years in prison after he was convicted on drug charges on Tuesday.
The Jamaican star, real name Mark Myrie, was hit with four cocaine-related counts stemming from an arrest in 2009, which related to a drug deal he was planning with two other men. Banton boasted about his drug connections to a federal informer on a flight from Spain to America.
The case ended in a mistrial last year when a Florida jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
A second trial got underway in a Tampa court last week, and during his testimony, Banton insisted he was simply trying to impress the undercover informant with details of a fictional drug deal.
The jury returned the guilty verdict after two days of deliberations, convicting the reggae star on three of the four charges, including conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. The 37 year old was acquitted of attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.
The conviction comes two weeks after Banton won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album for "Before the Dawn."