Another co-defendant in Buju Banton drug case enters plea deal


Another co-defendant in the federal drug case involving international reggae star Buju Banton has agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the US Government.

The Tampa Tribune says the co-defendant, 48-year-old James Mack, will plead guilty to multiple drug charges, according to a plea agreement filed in a US District Court.

The newspaper report says that Buju will be the only defendant on the docket when the trial begins on Monday.

Another co-defendant, 43-year-old Ian Thomas, is scheduled to plead guilty on Wednesday afternoon to the conspiracy charge.

He also has agreed to cooperate with the US government.

Mr. Mack previously signed an affidavit stating he never met Buju before his arrest, and that the artiste had no knowledge of the money and gun that were in Mack's car.

The facts outlined in Mr. Mack's plea agreement include Buju, whose given name is Mark Myrie, as part of the drug conspiracy.

The document refers to a December 10 drug deal that was supposed to happen at a Sarasota warehouse, noting it was based upon earlier negotiations between a confidential source, Mark Myrie and Ian Thomas.

The 37-year-old reggae artiste has been held without bail since he was arrested last December on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and aiding and abetting his co-defendants in possessing a firearm during the course of the cocaine distribution.

The reggae star maintains he was entrapped.