Reggae and dancehall star, Buju Banton is a free man. He served nearly eight years in prison on drug trafficking charges. He headed back to Jamaica after being released from Georgia’s McRae Correctional Facility on Friday (Dec. 7).
Banton was later spotted landing at Norman Manley Airport in Kington, Jamaica where he was met by crowds of fans. Now that he’s back home, Banton plans to channel his energy towards helping Jamaica’s youth find employment opportunities, the country’s culture minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange told The Guardian.
Given his criminal conviction, the Grammy winner will not receive an official “hero’s welcome,”Jamaica’s minister of national security said.
Last month, Banton released a statement on social media expressing his goals for the future.“In light of the adversity I have encountered, I feel the need to stress that my only desire going forward is peace and love. I only want to be associated with my craft,” he wrote.
“Having survived, I want to share the good news and strength of my music. I just want to continue making music, which I’ve devoted my life to. I look forward to the opportunity to say a personal thanks to my fans and everyone who supported me.”
Banton was arrested in Miami in 2009 on charges of possession and conspiracy to distribute of more than five kilograms of cocaine. He was convicted in 2011 and sentenced to a decade in prison.