Buju Banton Pleads Not Guilty to Drug Charges


John Kennedy | January 8, 2010 - 11:09 pm

Reggae star Buju Banton pleaded not guilty to drug charges on Thursday (Jan. 7) during his arraignment in Florida, following his arrest in December for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

The singer’s lawyer, David Oscar Markus, has reportedly requested that Banton be transported back to Tampa, Florida where the indictment was filed. He also stated that they had no plans to strike a deal with the DEA, because Banton is innocent.

“We will be going to trial,” Markus explained. “He did not commit the crimes he’s charged with. He was not in any conspiracy.”

Banton is currently being held in federal custody without bail. He did not seek bail during his arraignment.

“There should be a presumption of innocence. Instead there is a presumption of guilt in immigration,” Markus explained.

The 36-year-old reggae singer (real name: Mark Anthony Myrie) was picked up by the DEA in December after he allegedly attempted to buy over five kilos of cocaine from an undercover officer in Sarasota, Florida.