Buju Banton

Buju Banton arrives at the 2006 BMI Urban Music Awards at Roseland Ballroom on Aug. 30, 2006 in New York. 

William D. Bird/Getty Images

Reggae star Buju Banton is free after serving seven years in federal prison on drug charges.

Banton was convicted in a federal courtroom in Florida in 2011. Prison officials told the Tampa Bay Times that Banton was freed Friday from Georgia’s private McMcRae Correctional Institute.

The 45-year-old music star was expected to return to his native Jamaica.  

At trial in Tampa in 2011, federal prosecutors showed the jury audio and video recordings of Banton that they said proved he was involved in a deal to buy 11 pounds (nearly 5 kilograms) of cocaine for $135,000.

Born Mark Myrie, he was reared in Kingston and rose to prominence as a reggae and dancehall artist in the 1990s.

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