Rabidly anti-gay "murder music" superstar Buju Banton has been sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison for his conviction for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Banton was also found guilty of another drug trafficking offense and a gun charge at the February trial in Florida.
[Banton] did not make a statement. He smiled as he was led away. [The defense] asked that Myrie be allowed to serve his sentence as close to Miami as possible so he could be near his family. He was living there when he was arrested in December 2009.
Banton, 37, whose real name is Mark Myrie, argued unsuccessfully that he was entrapped. Despite audio and video of the singer arranging the cocaine deal and sampling the product—and recorded blaming his financial problems on gay activists— the reggae star maintains that he was "set up."
In recent years, gay activists have called attention to Banton's lyrics and other so-called "murder music" which incites violence against gays. Banton's recent North American and European tour dates have met with protests, demonstrations and cancellations.
In October 2009, San Francisco-based LGBT activists met with Banton and afterwards the reggae singer's anti-gay rhetoric appeared even more hardened: "This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs, 'There is no end to the war between me and faggot'."
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