TAMPA — Federal jurors deliberated for about seven hours Friday without reaching a verdict in the drug conspiracy trial of Grammy-winning reggae star Buju Banton and will return Tuesday to continue their work.
Banton, 37, faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of four drug and weapons charges for arranging a deal to buy $135,000 in cocaine, prosecutors say.
Banton's trial opened Monday, a day after he won a Grammy Award for best reggae album. Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie, rose to fame in the 1990s and is wildly popular in his native Jamaica. Banton, who was charged in December 2009, currently lives in South Florida.
Banton's attorneys say he was entrapped by an overeager confidential informant who has earned $3.3 million working with law enforcement during the last 14 years.