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Reggae star Buju Banton appeals drug conviction

December 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Reggae star Buju Banton claims there was not enough evidence to prove he was involved in a cocaine conspiracy.

The Grammy winner made his statement in an appeal of his federal drug conviction filed Friday by his attorney.

The filing also states that Banton was relentlessly pursued by a federal informant seeking a $50,000 government payday. Banton's lawyer says that resulted in improper entrapment.

Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, is serving a 10-year prison sentence following his February conviction on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges. A related gun charge was tossed out by a judge.

Banton is extremely popular in his native Jamaica and won a Grammy for his latest album shortly before his drug conviction.

It will likely be months before the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issues a decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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