Buju Banton Begins Trial for Cocaine Charges
Back in December 2009, reggae star Buju Banton was arrested on cocaine charges after attempting to buy five kilos from an undercover cop in Sarasota, Florida. After more than half a year of waiting for his case to go before a judge, the 36-year-old is in court today in Tampa, Florida on trail for the illegal attempt to purchase drugs, which could peg the singer with a life sentence.
Prosecutors assert that Buju and two associates negotiated with an undercover informant to buy the contraband materials, which he and his lawyers claim was a setup by the U.S. government to entrap the entertainer.
“The confidential source is a paid government informant,” argued his lawyers earlier this year. “In addition to refusing to disclose the identity, the government has refused to identify the prior cases in which he has been involved, the outcomes of those cases, the amount of money he has earned making cases for the government, or even the amount he has been paid (or expects to be paid) in this case.”
Buju has been held in jail without bail for the past eight months. Though he is pleading not guilty, his associates are pleading otherwise and are planning on testifying against him.