Buju Banton, whose given name is Mark Anthony Myrie, has been released from prison, a prison officer at the McRae Correctional Institution in Georgia has confirmed.
According to The US Federal Bureau of Prison website, Buju was scheduled to be released on Saturday, December 8, 2018. The reggae artiste walked free earlier today, December 7, and is being processed to be deported to Jamaica. He shared an open letter with fans ahead of his release.
Watch: Buju Banton boards plane headed to Jamaica
The reggae legend’s lawyers are pushing for a minimum amount of time in
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody for processing before he is deported to Jamaica. The singer could be on Jamaican soil sometime later today or tomorrow.
In September, Buju Banton’s team announced via Instagram that the reggae legend will be embarking on a post-prison “Long Walk To Freedom” world tour in the summer of 2019.
Banton’s 10-year prison sentence was reduced by two months in January of 2016 months after the US Attorney’s Office in Florida announced an agreement in which it said the entertainer agreed to waive all future appeals of his 2011 conviction on cocaine distribution and conspiracy charges. In return, prosecutors agreed to drop a firearms charge against him.
Buju, now 45-year-old, was arrested in December 2009, found guilty in February 2011 and was scheduled to walk a free man from the McRae Correctional Facility in February 2019, as the Bureau of Prisons initially indicated.