In June, the federal appeals court in Atlanta upheld the Jamaican singer’s 2011 conviction on cocaine conspiracy and trafficking charges. The three-judge panel also sided with a Tampa jury’s conviction of Banton on a gun possession charge, which the trial judge tossed at his sentencing.
The appeals court rules that there was sufficient evidence to convict the singer, whose real name is Mark Myrie, on the gun charge.
Banton’s attorney had filed a motion in July seeking a new trial. Judge James Moody in Tampa denied that request Tuesday.
Banton is serving a 10-year prison sentence. The gun charge carries an additional five-year sentence.
*Despite pleas for leniency from family members, fans and supporters, a federal judge sentenced Grammy-winning reggae singer Buju Banton on Thursday to ten years in prison for conspiring to set up a cocaine deal.
Banton was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense, reports the AP.
The judge did throw out a gun charge, lowering Banton’s sentence from 15 years to 10. He was also ordered to serve five years of probation following his release from prison.
As previously reported, dozens of letters to U.S. District Judge James S. Moody are included in the court file for the 37-year-old recording artist, whose given name is Mark Myrie. Several of his 15 children wrote, as did a former Jamaican government official, an NBA player, other reggae artists and actor Danny Glover, who called Banton a “role model, philanthropist and spiritual leader in the community.”
Banton’s attorney, David Markus, says federal sentencing guidelines call for a prison term of at least 15 years. In a court filing, Markus told Moody that is “way more than necessary” in Banton’s case.
*First we learned that the world had lost legendary Jazz saxophonist James Moody last week to pancreatic cancer.
Then we discovered that the mystery ailment that had put the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin in the hospital recently was also pancreatic cancer.
The two developments are part of a silent trend which is hitting African Americans hard.
In fact, according to the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, cancer of the pancreas is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States and the incidence of pancreatic cancer is 50 percent to 90 percent higher in African Americans than in any other racial group in the country. Why? The medical professional is not entirely sure but the professionals do have their suspicions.
The studies which have been conducted suggest that the primary factors are environmental and socio-economic. Cigarette smoking appears to be the biggest risk factor followed by diabetes, pancreatitis, being overweight and poor access to health care.
More disheartening is that cancer of the pancreas appears to be a near-death sentence. Currently only five percent of those diagnosed with the ailment are still alive five years after diagnosis. A 10-year study of cancer of the pancreas in black patients at historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C. found that “no form of treatment had significant effect in terms of survival in stages II, III and IV of the disease.”
The experts tell us the best way to reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer is to quit smoking, eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed meats and drop those pounds if you are overweight.
[The pancreas is essentially a digestive organ. It is located deep in your belly between your stomach and the backbone. It produces enzymes which help break down food and it also makes insulin and other hormones.]
For more info on pancreatic cancer, visit the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry, HERE.
*Celebrated jazz saxophonist and flutist James Moody, who achieved fame as an associate of Dizzy Gillespie and was the co-composer of “Moody’s Mood for Love,” died Thursday (Dec. 9) of pancreatic cancer at a hospice in San Diego, The New York Times reported. He was 85.
Moody revealed last month he had cancer and decided against receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment, the Times said.
The musician started his career with trumpeter Gillespie shortly after World War I and continued performing well into the 21st century. He was known for his distinctive sounds and was equally fluent on both tenor and alto saxophone, a relatively rare accomplishment in Jazz.
Moody was also known for his self-effacing humor.
“I’m not a flute player,” he told an interviewer. “I’m a flute holder.”
His peers and critics found his talent exceptional. In a 1980 review, Village Voice critic Gary Giddins praised Moody’s “unqualified directness of expression” and said his improvisations were “mini-epics in which impassioned oracles, comic relief, suspense and song vie for chorus time.”
Moody was born in Savannah, Ga., March 26, 1925, and raised in Newark, N.J. He started playing saxophone in school and played with an all-black Army Air Force band during World War II. After his military discharge, he auditioned for Gillespie.
A fire at a Philadelphia nightclub destroyed the band’s equipment, uniforms and sheet music in 1958 and Moody said he started drinking. He checked himself into Overbrook, a psychiatric hospital in Cedar Grove, N.J., for several months. He celebrated his recovery by writing and recording “Last Train From Overbrook,” an up-tempo blues tune that became one of his best-known compositions.
Moody said he saw his musical education as a work in progress.
“I’ve always wanted to be around people who know more than me,” he said in a 2006 interview. “Because that way I keep learning.”
Moody, divorced twice, is survived by his wife of 21 years, Linda, and three sons, Patrick, Regan and Danny, all California residents.