Tag Archives: Entrapment

Gargamel Focused On Freedom In 2012

We Pray For Freedom In 2012

Greetings in the name of the Most High! As we mark the end of 2011, Buju Banton and the entire Gargamel family would like to take a moment to thank the fans around the world for your unwavering support during these difficult times. Indeed, it is not an easy road, but it helps to know that we are not walking it alone.

Buju has been receiving all of  your correspondence and apologizes for not being able to answer every single letter personally. Keep them coming, still, as they are a true source of upliftment in the midst of so much uncertainty.

While we patiently await a final ruling on Buju’s case from the United States Court of Appeals, Team Gargamel remains hopeful, prayerful and focused on freedom… We encourage you to do the same.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

20 Comments

Filed under Buju Banton General, United States vs Buju Banton

Buju Banton Appeal Brief Filed

Team Gargamel is extremely pleased to announce that Buju’s attorney of record, David Oscar Markus of Markus & Markus Law, filed the Brief Of The Appellant, on behalf of Mark Anthony Myrie p/k/a Buju Banton, with the United States Court of Appeals earlier this morning. The gripping, 73-page document thoroughly picks apart the squirrely details surrounding the case of “The Recording Artist vs The Con Artist.”

The Appeal itself is broken down into three main arguments:

I.  AS BOTH A MATTER OF LAW AND FACT, MYRIE  IS NOT GUILTY OF CONSPIRACY TO DISTRIBUTE COCAINE OR TO AID AND ABET OTHERS IN USING THE TELEPHONE TO FACILITATE A COCAINE DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY

II.  IN THE ALTERNATIVE, THE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO IMPLICATE MYRIE CONSTITUTED ENTRAPMENT BECAUSE MYRIE LACKED PREDISPOSITION TO PARTICIPATE IN A DRUG CONSPIRACY

III.  THIS CASE MUST BE DISMISSED DUE TO THE DISTRICT COURT’S VIOLATION OF THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT

In addition to the brief, Mr. Markus has requested an oral argument, where 3 judges listen to the case, “because it will assist the Court in understanding the multiple legal issues presented in this case.” Only 10% of all appeal cases are granted this opportunity.

The Court of Appeals will decide whether to allow oral argument, and when all is said and done, will usually take between a month and a year to rule.

13 Comments

Filed under United States vs Buju Banton

The Caged Bird Sings Of Freedom

The caged bird sings

With a fearful trill

Of things unknown

But longed for still

And his tune is heard

On the distant hill

For the caged bird

Sings of freedom.

Dr. Maya Angelou (from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings)

Freedom! Photo By: Robert Cooper

Greetings in the name of the Most High…

As you can imagine, the Gargamel Music Family’s entire world was shattered by the outcome of Buju’s trial. Two months have passed and the heartache has not eased at all. We lost a long, hard-fought battle but, alas, this legal war wages on. We remain confident in Buju’s innocence and vigilant in our fight for his ultimate freedom. There is nuff work to be done and the time has come for us to pick up the pieces and march forward in the struggle.

Buju’s strength and resolve throughout this painful ordeal has been nothing short of inspiring. He is a true soldier who continues to stand firm in his beliefs and will not be broken. He earnestly thanks his friends for life — the fans worldwide — for your unyielding support and only asks that you remember him in a positive light and continue to play his music in the days to come.

We encourage you to send uplifting letters to Buju at the address below:

Mark Anthony Myrie – Docket # 1443397

CEN-4C1-UN01-01-001

Pinellas County Jail

14400 49th Street North

Clearwater, Florida 33762-2877

If you feel like you want to top up B’s commissary, include a money order with all of the above information written on it (Mark’s legal name/docket number, etc…) and place it in the envelope with your letter. The guards who open the mail will make sure it’s added onto his account.

SENTENCING & APPEAL

We recently sat down with Buju’s attorney, David Oscar Markus, who took the time to school us on how the sentencing and appeal processes works so we have a better sense of what to expect.

The trial and sentencing judge, James Moody, Jr. still has yet to rule on either of the post trial motions filed by Markus back in February: 1) motion for judgement of acquittal  2) motion for a new trial. Markus filed a separate third motion for bond pending sentencing and appeal that he is also waiting to hear from the Court on.

Buju’s sentencing is currently scheduled for June 23rd. While Judge Moody can take other things into account, he still must abide by the current mandatory minimum drug sentencing guidelines, which based on the three convictions: 1) Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 or more kilograms of a substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine  2) knowing and intentionally possessing a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and 3) using the wires to facilitate a drug trafficking offense, bring the mandatory minimum in this case to 15 years.

  • After sentencing, Markus has 14 days to file a notice of appeal. Then he will order the trial transcripts, which will take about 30 days.
  • As soon as Markus gets the transcripts, he has 40 days to file a brief, which will contain his arguments.
  • The government gets 40 days to respond. Markus gets 40 days to reply.
  • Then the Court will decide whether to allow oral argument (where 3 judges listen to the case). Only 10% of all appeal cases are granted this opportunity.
  • After oral argument, the Court usually takes between a month and a year to rule.

Those who wish to donate funds toward the appeal may send a wire transfer to the official Buju Banton Defense Fund set up by his attorney:

Markus & Markus, PLLC
(Defense Fund for Buju Banton)
Citibank, N A
Coral Way Branch
1600 Coral Way
Miami, FL 33145
ABA # 266086554
Account # 9118130472

You may also make a donation via Paypal. Just log in and direct monies to FREEBUJU@gmail.com

THE VOICE OF JAMAICA WILL NOT BE SILENCED!
The Gargamel Music Family remains steadfast in our efforts to promote and preserve the musical legacy of Buju Banton. As he reiterated in his Miami New Times cover story in January of this year, “they can lock the flesh but they can never lock the spirit of Rasta.” We intend to keep Buju’s spirit moving and his voice soaring — through music… And we already have several projects in development:

Buju Banton & Friends: Before The Dawn Concert DVD

We are working out the logistics to make the official DVD of the Before The Dawn Concert available for sale later this year. We are aware of the weak bootleg circulating on the streets and will deal with the culprits accordingly. In the meantime, we just ask that the fans hold on and support the real product when it comes out. It will definitely be worth the wait.

New Buju Banton Studio Album

While the General was out on bail and under house arrest he finished up some tracks for an album co-produced with longtime UK brethren, Blacker Dread. The pair previously worked together on the rousing 2010 anthem “Innocent” featured on Buju’s Grammy-winning album Before The Dawn (Gargamel Music). This new album will drop some time in 2012 on Gargamel Music, Inc.

Buju Banton Live Album

Team Gargamel has collected some amazing live material over the past few years and we plan to release the first Buju Banton live album some time in the near future.

Buju Banton Coffee Table Book

For the past few years we’ve been shooting with esteemed celebrity photographer Jonathan Mannion (Too Bad and Rasta Got Soul album covers) to produce a photography book that visually captures the excitement and frenetic energy of Buju’s live performances along with some exclusive behind-the-scenes moments on the road with the artist and his band.

Gargamel Music Website

At long last, we are in the process of revamping the Gargamel Music website. www.GARGAMELMUSIC.com will be the hub for all things Buju Banton on the web. We will also be selling authentic Buju Banton merchandise, including the Official Free Buju T-Shirts, which are now available in a Limited Edition Red in addition to the original Black and Green color waves. And keep your eyes peeled for the brand new Buju Banton Logo Tee that will be available at relaunch!

The Gargamel Music Family Thanks You For Your Support!

4 Comments

Filed under Buju Banton General, Buju Banton Music, United States vs Buju Banton

Irie Jam Radio Hosting Buju Banton Tribute Marathon All Day Today!

Irie Jam 93.5 FM in collaboration with Gargamel Music, Inc. presents “A Day for Buju Banton” tribute marathon. Listeners in New York can tune in to Irie Jam 93.5 FM today, Saturday, October 9, from 1pm-6pm. Fans outside the Tri-State area can log on to www.iriejamfm.com or www.wvipfm.com.

All day, the Irie Jam family will celebrate the stellar body of work that Jamaican music icon, Buju Banton has delivered to the masses throughout his illustrious 20+ year career. The entertainment industry has also come out in support with Stephen MarleyGramps Morgan, Wayne Wonder, John Holt and Tarrus Riley all slated to participate in the program.

Buju Banton has been incarcerated since December 10, 2009. He was entrapped by a paid informant. After many postponements, his trial finally commenced on September 20, 2010. On September 27,  a mistrial was declared because the panel of jurors were split and unable to reach a unanimous verdict. The case will be retried in December 2010.

Meanwhile, Banton’s attorney, David Oscar Markus filed a motion for bond that was heard by Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli on Wednesday, October 6. Judge Porcelli is expected to render his decision next week.

We urge the public to  support Buju Banton’s  new album, a prophetic masterpiece, Before the Dawn by purchasing a copy today. In addition, we encourage everyone to participate in the Buju Banton Letter Writing Campaign to ensure the US government is keenly aware that the public is monitoring this case closely. Please send your letter today and encourage others to do the same !

THE BUJU BANTON DEFENSE FUND has also been reestablished. We are asking supporters to contribute $10 or more to assist in the next battle in Buju’s court proceedings, which will cost upwards of $200,000 USD.

Funds can be wired to:
Markus & Markus, PLLC
(Defense Fund for Buju Banton)

Citibank, N A
Coral Way Branch
1600 Coral Way
Miami, FL 33145
ABA # 266086554
Account # 9118130472

For international wires the Swift Code is CITIUS33.


9 Comments

Filed under Buju Banton General, Buju Banton Media Watch, Buju Banton Music, United States vs Buju Banton

Buju Banton Trial Delayed Again… This Time ‘Til September 20th

Banton looks forward to his day in court.

Team Gargamel has learned that Buju Banton‘s day in court has been pushed back for the fifth time! Previously rescheduled to start on September 13th, the long-delayed trial has now been set to begin on Monday, September 20, 2010. The high-profile, highly controversial case will be tried by Assistant U.S. Attorney, James C. Preston, Jr. and presided over by The Honorable Judge James S. Moody, Jr. at the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. District Courthouse in Tampa, Florida.

Represented by esteemed South Florida Super Lawyer, David Oscar Markus, the Reggae icon is looking forward to finally having the opportunity to defend himself. It goes without saying that Banton is also amped up about the forthcoming release of his prophetic new album, Before The Dawn, which will drop just eight days later on Tuesday, September 28th in the United States and Japan. The release date for most of Europe is Monday, October 1st, however, for the UK and France the date will be Friday October 4th.

21 Comments

Filed under Buju Banton General, Buju Banton Music, United States vs Buju Banton

Buju Banton Trial Date Rescheduled For September 13th — New Album To Drop On September 28th

After months of senseless delays, Jamaican music star Buju Banton will finally have his day in court. The Honorable Judge James S. Moody, Jr. has reset the trial start date for Monday, September 13, 2010 at the Sam M. Gibbons US District Courthouse in Tampa, Florida. This is the fourth time the trial has been rescheduled so only time will tell if it will actually convene as planned.

In other Buju Banton news, Gargamel Music, Inc. is prepping the release of his ninth studio album, Before The Dawn, which is set to drop in North America on Tuesday, September 28, 2010. The 10 powerful tracks that comprise this very special project are some of the more prophetic songs written by Banton since his extraordinary entry into the music business over twenty years ago.

Recorded mostly at his Gargamel Music studio in Kingston, Jamaica, Before The Dawn literally pierces the soul with traditional roots, easy rock and especially heartfelt reggae. The album’s unofficial anthem “Innocent” strikes a highly personal chord that will resonate deeply with longtime Buju Banton fans.

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Buju Banton Advocates Launch A Letter Writing Campaign To U.S. Attorney General

In a consolidated effort to bring even more attention to the flimsy Federal charges being wielded against the international reggae music icon, Buju Banton‘s supporters have kicked off an official letter writing campaign to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. The goal is to ensure the government is keenly aware that the public is monitoring this case closely. Below is a copy of the sample letter being circulated:

Dear Attorney General Holder:

I am writing to ask for your intervention with respect to a grave injustice against Grammy-nominated reggae music icon Buju Banton (legal name Mark Anthony Myrie). The incarceration of this legendary musician without bail is unconscionable.  He is currently incarcerated in the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida while he awaits trial on drug conspiracy charges in the Middle District of Florida for which he has pleaded not guilty. The charges are a result of information provided by a professional informant who relentlessly pursued Mr. Myrie for six months to participate in a drug deal.

In our great system of justice the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, persons accused of crime are entitled to bail. Mr. Myrie meets all of the requirements for bail, yet it has not been granted. In addition, his trial has been postponed three times despite his attorney’s objections.

The professional informant in Mr. Myrie’s case is a convicted drug trafficker from Colombia. This convicted felon has been granted legal immigration status and to date has earned over three million American dollars (tax-free) for serving as an informant to various U.S. government agencies. Taxpayer dollars certainly could be spent more effectively than on trying to entrap individuals who have no previous criminal record and have never been involved with drugs in any manner.  Is the Federal government presently in the business of creating criminals?

Mr. Myrie, a.k.a. Buju Banton, produces uplifting, positive music comparable to the music of Bob Marley.  His work inspires people worldwide. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award, the highest achievement in his field, four times since 1999.  He is one of the leading voices of his generation, shedding light on such issues as the unrelenting violence and abject poverty pervasive in the Third World.

Banton has also represented his country in performances at the Summer Olympics in Greece in 2004 and at the Cricket World Cup Opening in 2007.  Buju commemorated Jamaica’s support for President Obama by appearing in rock legend Dave Stewart’s music video for “American Prayer,” a moving tribute to the President.  Additionally, Buju is a family man, an employer and a generous philanthropist.

Given Buju Banton’s exemplary reputation, his humanitarian efforts and his cultural contributions to society, he should not be languishing in jail at U.S. taxpayers’ expense.  I urge you to do whatever possible to end this injustice.

Organizers of the Buju Banton Letter Writing Campaign are encouraging friends, fans and supporters worldwide to print out this letter — or write a version of their own, sign and mail it directly to Attorney General Holder at the following address:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20530-0001


17 Comments

Filed under Buju Banton General, Buju Banton Media Watch, United States vs Buju Banton

Buju Banton Moved To Tampa

International Reggae icon, Buju Banton, was moved to a jail in Tampa today. He will next appear in the United States District Court (Middle District of Florida) for his arraignment on Thursday. Stay tuned for updates.

6 Comments

Filed under United States vs Buju Banton