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A judge in Tampa, Florida denied Buju Banton’s request for a new trial, stemming from his drug trafficking conviction. Federal Judge James Moody struck down the appeal Tuesday (Aug. 7), more than a month after the reggae star filed paperwork in an Atlanta courtroom to have his conviction overturned, a move which was  denied by a panel of three judges.

Moody reportedly cited the Atlanta ruling in making his final decision.

It was also decided that Banton’s weapons possession conviction will be upheld, despite being thrown out when he was sentenced, last year.

Undeterred by the ruling, Banton’s lawyer, David Oscar Markus, said that he would continue to fight for his client’s freedom. “I plan on appealing again, and will take this to the Supreme Court if I must,” he said. “I won’t stop fighting for my friend and brother.”

Banton was found guilty for his part in cocaine trafficking and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars. Because Moody opted to go forward with adding the gun charge onto his bid, he now faces an additional five years in custody.

In 2009, the Grammy winner was busted by an informant who received $50,000 for his role in helping police bring Banton to justice.



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Photo: The Gleaner