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July 20, 2012


Busy Signal

LOVED ones of Busy Signal are heartened by news that the DJ may not be spending any extensive period in a United States jail after pleading guilty yesterday to a charge of failure to appear in court.

“We are happy to hear that he won’t be spending any long time in jail and he will be home soon,” Shantal Chin, the mother one of the artist’s children, told the Jamaica Observer.

The artist, whose real name is Glendale Goshia Gordon, faces between 12 and 18 months’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to leaving the US 10 years ago before his scheduled trial on drug charges.

He also faces a fine of $3,000 to $30,000 under sentencing guideline recommendations.

His attorney, Bill Mauzy, told The Associated Press he had asked for a sentence of time served. However, Assistant US Attorney Andrew Dunne declined to say how much time prosecutors would seek.

A sentencing date has not been set.

The plea comes exactly a month after the artist was extradited to the United States when he decided against challenging his extradition in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court.

Busy, 33, was charged in February 2002 on two counts of cocaine-related charges, which carried a sentence of at least 15 years in prison. He fled the US before his trial was to begin in Minnesota and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

However, Busy cannot be tried on the drug charges, unless the US Government seeks leave from Jamaica, due to the fact that the artist was extradited on a warrant for skipping trial.

“You knew you should appear, and you didn’t,” US District Judge Donovan Frank said while asking Busy a series of questions.

“Yes, your honour,” Busy replied.

Busy was detained by authorities in London in May and accused of travelling with false documents, including a passport that listed a different name. He returned to Kingston, the Jamaican capital, and was arrested at the airport there.

He waived extradition on the failure to appear in court. Mauzy said the extradition process was limited to that count alone.

Because of that, Dunne said, while the cocaine charges still exist, they were not a part of this process.

Frank said once Busy serves his sentence, he’ll be given 45 days to return to Jamaica. If he remains in the US after that, he could be arrested on the drug charges.

Busy Signal is best known for dancehall tracks Step Out, Nah Go a Jail and These Are the Days.

— Observer and AP reports


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