Embattled reggae star Buju Banton is appealing to a Florida judge for leniency following his conviction on drug charges earlier this year (11).
The Jamaican hitmaker was arrested in 2009 after he was busted for allegedly planning a cocaine deal with two other men. Banton, real name Mark Myrie, reportedly boasted about his drug connections to a federal informer on a flight from Spain to America.
The case originally went before a judge last year (10) but ended in a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on four charges.
A second trial got underway in a Tampa court in February (11), and during his testimony, Banton insisted he was simply trying to impress the undercover informant with details of a fictional drug deal.
He was convicted on three counts, including conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, and is facing a minimum of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on 23 June (11).
But Banton insists he doesn't deserve such a long term behind bars and his lawyer David Markus filed a request for a shorter sentence on Thursday (09Jun11), claiming 15 years is "way more than necessary" as he only played a small role in the drug deal.
Markus has submitted letters of support for his client from actor Danny Glover and fellow reggae star Stephen Marley and highlighted his charity work in a bid to land a reduced sentence.