The Jamaican reggae star, Mark Anthony Myrie known as Buju Banton who was sentenced to 10 years prison term by federal drug ,charges in February 2011 over illegal possession of a firearm , conspiracy and possess cocaine with intent to distribute has been released from a federal prison in Georgia.
Banton is one of the most well-known reggae artists in Jamaica, where he’s considered a big name in the same genre of music that features icons such as Bob Marley. His popularity among reggae fans led to his collaboration with international US artists such as Busta Rhymes and Fat Joe. After his release, rap artist P. Diddy posted a message on Instagram. “Today is a glorious day. Buju is free. Let’s go!” he said.
His attorneys appealed to be reduced a year later, citing his “limited participation” in the drug operation that led to his December 2009 bust.
the judge heard a heartfelt request for leniency from the reggae icon’s then 11-year-old daughter, Abihail Myrie.
“I can’t imagine a life without my father. I would really appreciate if you would give him a second chance” she wrote back then.
The Jamaica Observer reported that Banton returned home over the weekend, where crowds of fans gathered at the airport to await his arrival. His friend and manager told the paper that Banton decided not to use the regular airport exit because he did not want to be mobbed. “He felt the crowd was too big, and Buju had already been harassed by the dozens of passengers who traveled home with him by taking pictures and videoing him, and asking questions on his way back home,” Donovan Germain said. The musician went to the studio from the airport, and is looking forward to performing early next year, he added.
Abihail who is now a teenager shared the heartwarming moment they re-united in a social media post which she captioned, “I’ve imagined what this moment would be like, replaying it over and over again in my head but now I can stop imagining because that moment is finally here. It’s so real and I can’t even find the words to express how i feel. I missed you so much Im so happy to finally have you here. My heart is so full. How’d you make an exact replica of yourself though?? TWINNING!” Abihail wrote.
Buju Banton’s management has also issued an appreciation statement.