Mark Myrie, AKA Buju Banton is literally between a rock and a hard place. His court trial for drug trafficking has begun and it doesn’t look pretty for Banton, whose song, “Boom Bye Bye” has largely been reviled by the gay community because of its lyrics calling for assault on gays. According to Jamaica Observer, Banton couldn’t stop shaking his head in court yesterday as he listened for a long period as the prosecution played damning recordings of his conversations with government informant Alexander Johnson, discussing drug deals and even diamond smuggling from Africa to Europe.
Yesterday, as the tapes were being played, one woman could be seen clutching her head and covering her ears. Others sat attentively, captivated by the conversations between the four-time Grammy nominee and Johnson, a convicted drug trafficker who has been working with the US Government since 1996 to sink other narco dealers.
Also played for the court was the video recording of December 8, 2009 in which Banton was seen tasting cocaine from a knife given to him by his long-time friend Ian Thomas after he used it to cut open a package containing five kilogrammes of cocaine during an undercover operation by the Sarasota Police Department at a warehouse. Source
If the allegations against Buju Banton are true, then he deserves to be imprisoned for a long time. He had so much to gain by staying on the narrow and straight path. This sends such a bad message to the young people of Jamaica who looked up to him.
UPDATE#1: The fate of Buju Banton is now in the hands of a federal jury, which began deliberating Thursday in his drug conspiracy trial. He faces up to life in prison if convicted. According to the St. Peterburg Times, defense attorney David Markus argued that while Banton talked with a government informer about drugs, he never went through with the deal. But the U.S. Assistant Attorney James Preston begs to differ. He said Banton was a middle man in a drug transaction in which an associate of Banton would buy five kilos of cocaine from an undercover police officer.