Reggae star Banton moved to Tampa before hearing

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton has been moved to Tampa in advance of a federal court appearance on drug charges.

Banton’s label, Gargamel Music Inc., also announced Wednesday that he has hired Miami defense attorney David Oscar Markus to fight charges that he was involved in a conspiracy to traffic more than five kilograms of cocaine.

The Grammy-nominated Banton has been moved from a jail in Miami to Tampa, where he is due to appear in court Thursday. If convicted he could face up to life in prison.

Markus said Banton is innocent and was set up by “some evil people trying to take advantage of his trusting and honest character.”