Buju Banton Wins First Grammy, But Faces Criminal Trial That Could Lead to Prison

Reggae artist Buju Banton’s career highlight has been ruined due to his legal troubles. On Feb. 13, Banton won the first Grammy Award of his career for the critically acclaimed album, Before The Dawn.

But on Feb. 14, 12 jurors were selected for Banton’s trial on drug charges and his lawyers made opening statements in a courtroom in Tampa, Fla.

In 2009, Banton was caught on tape attempting to buy five kilos of cocaine that had a street value of $150,000. He went on trial during the summer of 2010, but the judge declared a mistrial after the jurors could not reach a verdict.

Banton’s lawyers are focusing on an informant named Alexander Johnson, who reportedly received $50,000 for cooperating with police. They are hoping to paint Johnson as a man who set Banton up for financial gain. If Banton is convicted, he could serve the rest of his life in prison. –amir shaw

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