Reggae star Buju Banton faces life in prison

Jury selection began Monday in Tampa, Florida for the retrial of Jamaican reggae artist Buju Banton who faces up to life in prison for federal drug trafficking charges.
Banton, 37, whose hit songs include “Champion” and “Boom Bye Bye,” claims he was set up by a man while trying to impress the confidential informant who claimed that he could help Banton’s career.

U.S. prosecutors claim that Banton, who real name is Mark Myrie, conspired with two associates to buy a shipment of cocaine from an undercover officer. The men pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Banton was arrested in December 2009 at his Miami-area home. He remained in custody until November, when another Jamaican singer, Stephen Marley, reggae legend Bob Marley’s son, posted his South Florida home as bond. Banton has been on house arrest except for a Miami concert in January to raise money for legal expenses.
Banton won a Grammy Award Sunday for best reggae album.