Legal Woes for Two of Reggae’s Greats

In December of 2009, Buju Banton, born Mark Myrie, was initially arrested in Miami, Florida on federal drugs charges for conspiracy to distribute and possession of more than five kilograms of cocaine. A six-day trial in Tampa, Florida saw a mistrial when the jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision on a verdict on September 27, 2010. February 22, 2011, Myrie was ultimately found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense and using communication wires to facilitate a drug-trafficking offense. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Myrie will not be granted a new trial. This is despite his lawyers appeal in December of 2011, citing entrapment and a violation of the Speedy Trial Act. The appeal was ruled on by  three judges of the Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, which presides over federal cases originating from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. The panel agreed with the decision of the second trial’s jury to convict Myrie of federal drug charges in February of 2011. Additionally, the panel rejected Myrie’s argument that his right to a speedy trial was violated. Myrie’s current release date is February 1, 2019. (Credit:

In May of 2012, Busy Signal, born Glendale Gordon, was arrested on an extradition warrant filed by the United States of America, where he was arrested in 2002. The investigation on Gordon has been open since his initial arrest in Minneapolis and law enforcement officials in Jamaica have had him under their radar ever since. Gordon is said to have been linked with the operations of extradited West Kingston crimelord, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke. (Credit: Urban Islandz and The Hype Life Magazine)

Gordon is said to have fled to Jamaica before his trial date in Minneapolis for his 2002 arrest. He was apprehended on May 21, 2012 by the Fugitive Apprehension Team, U.S Marshals and representatives of the British High Commission at Norman Manley International Airport. Gordon initially waived his right to an extradition hearing but was ultimately extradited to the United States on June 19, 2012. Gordon could face up to 5 years of imprisonment, if convicted. Gordon’s original charge of cocaine possession still stands as it did in 2002; however, because of extradition treaties any future prosecution would have to be arranged through Jamaican and U.S governments. Gordon has since pled not guilty in answer of this charge. (Credit:

Being a citizen of a country means that one must uphold and live by the law of the land. Once an act is committed which breaks one of those laws, legally the law enforcement has the right to prosecute that person of the crime. After reading about the entire Buju Banton [Mark Myrie] case and how he was ultimately found guilty, I truly do not see how justice was served for the greater good of the nation that is the United States of America. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) lead investigator for the Myrie case, Dan McCaffrey, testified that Myrie had no connection to the gun he was charged for and that he was in fact not a drug trafficker. Interesting enough, the former drug dealer turned informant, Anthony Johnson, has been paid three-point-three million dollars by the U.S. government for his roles in such previous cases since 1996. (Credit: Jamaican Observer and Reuters)

The fact that Busy Signal [Glendale Gordon] broke free of his monitoring device to flee the United States definitely aligns with his record “Nah Go Jail Again”. A part of me cannot agree with his skipping bail and a statement he made during an interview with Billboard where he said he had never returned to the United States since his arrest in 2002, which sounded as an attempt to justify his retreat to Jamaica. During his teenaged and early twenties, Gordon admitted to hustling and living a street life. It comes to pass that given what he knew and what he did, the arrest was warranted and should have been served out back in 2002. The 2012 arrest of Gordon was brought upon him, by his own decisions and actions, whether there was anything to exonerate him from his initial charges we may never know because he decided to flee from the United States and return to Jamaica. (Credit: Billboard)


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