Thursday, September 23, 2010

Florida jury deliberates in Buju Banton drug trial

Associated Press
Published: Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 11:36 a.m. MDT

TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida jury is deciding whether Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton conspired to buy cocaine from an undercover police officer last year.

Banton is charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and aiding two others in possessing a firearm during the course of cocaine distribution. He faces up to life in prison.

The singer testified that he talked a lot about cocaine with a U.S. government informant, but he was only trying to impress the man, who claimed to have music industry connections.

In closing arguments Thursday, Banton's attorney said the informant only managed to connect two co-defendants to the conspiracy.

Those men pleaded guilty. Neither testified in the trial that began Monday in Tampa federal court.

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