- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton says he talked a lot about drugs with a U.S. government informant, but that doesn’t make him a drug dealer.

Banton is on trial in Florida on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and aiding and abetting two others in possessing a firearm during the course of distribution.

The singer testified Wednesday that the informant he met on a plane last summer initiated their conversations about drugs. Banton said he made up ambitions to deal cocaine to impress the informant, who he believed would introduce him to music industry contacts.

Banton said he was surprised when the informant presented him with cocaine at a Sarasota warehouse in December, a meeting captured on video.

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