United States Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli has denied singer Buju Banton’s request to perform at a live concert in Miami on December 26.
According to www.tampabay.com, Judge Anthony Porcelli denied that request on Tuesday, saying whatever financial pressures Banton faces do not outweigh the risk that he might flee.
The report further stated that Banton’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, on Wednesday asked the judge to reconsider, saying the 24-hour security detail ordered to monitor Banton as a condition of his release costs US$20,000 a month. Plus, there is the cost of preparing for his upcoming drug trafficking retrial. Banton’s security detail does not object to him doing the concert and would be present for the show, his lawyer said. The prosecutor, however, objected and there is yet no word on whether he will be able to attend.
Banton was released on house arrest in Broward County since his bail from Pinellas County Jail on November 10. The singer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, had been behind bars since his arrest in Miami, on December 10, and has since been in the midst of an ongoing cocaine-trafficking trial. A federal judge declared a mistrial on September 27 after jurors could not agree on a verdict. Banton is scheduled to be tried again in February.
Under the terms of Banton’s bond, he must pay a private security detail to guard him so he does not flee. He was also required to sign an extradition waiver, ensuring his return if he does flee the country, and will have to wear an electronic monitoring device.
Two men indicted along with Banton, including the singer’s driver, have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Banton maintains he was set up by a well-paid government informant. But the prosecution argued that recorded conversations showed Banton was an experienced cocaine trafficker who was trying to invest in another deal.
Banton is best known for songs like Browning, Deportee and Driver. His 1995 album, Til Shiloh, is regarded as one of the greatest reggae albums.