If you’re even somewhat interested in the Jamaican music scene, you know who Buju Banton is, and it’s also quite likely that you’re aware of the intrinsic cultural stigma associated with snitching on criminal activity that permeates urban environments across the globe. Last December, Buju was arrested in Florida for attempting to purchase 5 keys of coke, a Federal sting had been operating with the sole intension of baiting and incarcerating the dancehall great. This fact was compounded in court this week when Buju’s defense attorney pointed out a myriad of significant facts about the “informant” and his previous manifestations of crummy character. The most significant evidence contrary to Buju’s guilt, is the sheer money factor, it appears as though the informant was paid a total of 3.3 million dollars over the last few years in an effort to “assist” his investigation. Long story short, Buju was caught with a gun “aiding and abetting” his homies who were down to cop the 5 keys from the millionaire passing off as a snitch.
Catch a laundry list of reasons to doubt the snitch in this case after the jump. I’m going to commission the printing of “Free Buju” shirts sponsored by ZIF. This is a no brainer. Free Buju.
• The informant’s name, which Markus did not disclose in court.
• He was paid more than $35,000 for his cooperation in the case against Myrie and is also paid on a contingency basis, receiving a portion of the money the judge orders the defendant to forfeit.
• He was convicted in South Florida in 1993 of distributing cocaine in a case that brought a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 10 years.
• He transported large amounts of cocaine and marijuana between 1984 and 1993.
• He is a legal, permanent resident of the United States from Colombia and was granted that immigration status after law enforcement requested it.
• When he testified in one case, a judge questioned his credibility.
• He is involved in a tax dispute with the IRS.
• He has worked with the prosecutor in Myrie’s case for more than 10 years.