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TIMELINE: Buju Banton's tangle with US law

Published:Friday | December 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Buju Banton was arrested in Miami and charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine.

Reggae artiste Buju Banton was on Friday released from prison nine years after he was first arrested on drug charges. 

Buju, whose given name is Mark Myrie boarded a flight in the United States this afternoon enroute to Jamaica.

Here is the timeline of his tangle with the justice system:

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December 10, 2009 - Buju Banton arrested in Miami and charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine.

January 8, 2010 - Banton pleaded not guilty to a drug charge in a court in Florida.

September 21, 2010 - An informant testified during trial that he met Banton on a plane from Spain and Miami at the end of the artiste's European tour in 2009. Johnson said that they began talking about drugs early in the flight.

September 27, 2010 - A Florida judge declared a mistrial in Banton's first trial as jurors failed to reach a verdict. 

November 11, 2010 - Banton granted bail by an immigration court in Florida and granted house arrest.

LISTEN: Buju's last performance before prison

February 16, 2011 - He was allowed to perform one concert between trials, which was held on 16 January 2011 to a sold-out crowd in Miami

February 13, 2011 - Buju won a Grammy for the best reggae album of 2010 for “Before the Dawn”.

February 14, 2011 - Second trial starts in Tampa, Florida.

February 23, 2011 - Convicted of conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute it, along with a further drug trafficking offence and a gun charge. However, he was acquitted of a fourth charge for attempted cocaine possession. 

June 23, 2011 - Banton sentenced to 10 years in prison. 

February 4, 2011 - Buju’s new legal team files appeal.

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August 20, 2014 - Banton granted a new appeal hearing on drug charges. 

May 14, 2015 - Federal prosecutors agreed to drop the firearms charges levelled against Buju who in turn waived his right to an appeal.

September 29, 2015: A federal juror in the trial was found guilty of misconduct and then sentenced to five months of probation and 40 hours of community service.

January 3, 2017 - The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ website reported the artiste’s new release date as December 8, 2018.

December 7, 2018 - Buju released from prison.

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