Reggae star Banton in custody in Miami

MIAMI, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton was in federal custody in Miami after being arrested on drug conspiracy charges, authorities say.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents confirmed Banton is expected to be charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 11 pounds of cocaine after he is transferred to Tampa, Fla., The Miami Herald reported Saturday.


Banton, whose real name is Mark Anthony Myrie, was taken into custody Thursday.

The legal problems facing Banton mark the most recent issues the reggae singer has faced in recent months.

The Herald said Banton has been facing criticism for the lyrics in many of his songs, which critics allege incite violence against gays.

Among Banton's more controversial songs is the hit "Boom Bye Bye," which critics allege advocates burning gays and shooting them in the head.

Gay Men of African Descent, along with the National Black Justice Coalition and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation are protesting a Grammy Awards nomination given to Banton's album "Rasta Got Soul."

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