Buju Banton’s Lawyers Claim He Was Set Up by a Government Informant
Lawyers for dancehall artist Buju Banton, who was recently arrested for attempting to buy cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer, are claiming that the United States government set the singer up.
Buju's high-profile lawyers, David Oscar Markus and David Seitles have released a statement contending that the DEA used a paid informant to entrap the singer, pressuring him to purchase the drugs. Banton's defense team is attempting to have the informant's identity disclosed, claiming that the relationship between Banton and the informant is highly suspect. Banton is said to have met the informant on a flight from Spain to Miami this past July. The informant then spent the following months manipulating the singer to buy the cocaine.
"The facts and circumstances of the confidential sources' contacts with Mr. Myrie display a deliberate effort by a paid informant to ensnare a perfect stranger, who happened to be sitting next to him on an international flight, into committing a crime, thereby ensuring the informant more money," argued his lawyers.
They also made note that, in the papers filed by the DEA, there is no mention of contact between the informant and the reggae artist, prior to Dec. 8, just two days before the arrest was made.
"The confidential source is a paid government informant. 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," said Banton's lawyers.
Though Banton was not actually in the warehouse where the drug bust went down, the singer was allegedly taped testing the cocaine, according to the DEA. He has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to purchase more than 5 kilograms of cocaine from an undercover officer and possession of a firearm during illegal activity.
Buju Banton is currently being held without bail, in Pinellas County Jail, in Tampa, Florida.