Buju Wants To Be Absent From Sentencing Hearing

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Incarcerated Reggae star Buju
Banton, has requested that he not be present at his sentencing on a
firearm charge in the US District Court in Tampa, Florida next month. A
member of Banton’s legal team Ihmotep Alkebu-lan told the Jamaica
Observer that the artiste has made a formal request that he be absent
from the hearing.

“He has asked not to be transported from prison to the court for the sentencing,” Alkebu-lan said
.
He is currently being housed at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Miami, a low security prison.
However Banton will have to wait on a court ruling to find out if his request will be granted.
Banton had appealed his 10-year sentence after being found guilty on
cocaine related charges but the appeal was thrown out by an Appellate
Court based in the state of Georgia.
The court also re-instated a firearm charge that was dismissed by judge
James Moody. Moody reasoned that Banton had never spoken to or met his
co-defendant James Mack, who was held with Ian Thomas in a government
controlled warehouse attempting to but a large quantity of cocaine. The
gun was found in a hidden compartment of a car Mack was driving.
Both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced to five years but Banton has
maintained his innocence and claimed the US government entrapped him by
hiring the services of convicted drug dealer turned government informant
Alexander Johnson.
Banton faces an additional five years on the firearm charge.
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