Incarcerated Dancehall/Reggae act Buju Banton requested to be absent from his sentencing hearing on a firearm charge in the US District Court in Tampa, Florida next month, unfortunately for the “Til Shiloh” singer, that request has been denied. A member of his legal team Ihmotep Alkebu-lan made a formal request on behalf of the artist who found the transporting facilities are “deplorable” and he would rather stay where he is at.”
Unfortunately, he will have to attend the hearing come October 30 2012. Alkebu-lan tells Irie FM that attendance at the sentencing hearing “is mandatory per the judges order … that’s the law, that’s the precedent in the 11th circuit.”
Banton who is currently in a low-security Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Miami, had appealed his 10-year sentence after being found guilty on cocaine related charges but it was thrown out by an Appellate Court based in the state of Georgia.
The court also re-instated a firearm charge that was dismissed by judge James Moody. the gun was found in a hidden compartment of a car driven by James Mack, a man Banton had never met nor spoken to, dispite him being a co-defendant.
Mack was held with Ian Thomas in a government controlled warehouse attempting to but a large quantity of cocaine. Both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced to five years but Banton has maintained his innocence and claimed the US government entrapped him by hiring the services of convicted drug dealer turned government informant Alexander Johnson.
Banton faces an additional five years on the firearm charge.
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