Reggae star Buju Banton free after federal drug sentence

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Reggae star Buju Banton is free after serving seven years in federal prison on drug charges.

Banton was convicted in a federal courtroom in Florida in 2011. Prison officials told the Tampa Bay Times that Banton was freed Friday from Georgia’s private McRae Correctional Institute.

The 45-year-old music star was expected to return to his native Jamaica.

At trial in Tampa in 2011, federal prosecutors showed the jury audio and video recordings of Banton that they said proved he was involved in a deal to buy 11 pounds (nearly 5 kilograms) of cocaine for $135,000.

Born Mark Myrie, he was reared in Kingston and rose to prominence as a reggae and dancehall artist in the 1990s.

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Information from: The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com

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