BY: JODEE BROWN
Internationally acclaimed Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Busy Signal will soon say goodbye to his freedom, at least temporarily after pleading guilty to a charge of absconding bail in a Minnesota courtroom on Thursday.
After initially pleading not guilty to the same charge late last month, the prominent singjay, whose real name is Glendale Goshia Gordon, plead guilty to one count of absconding bail; thus admitting that he fled the United States before a scheduled trial on drug-related charges in 2002. As a result, Busy Signal, who had been extradited to the United States last month, now faces a prison term of between 12-18 months as well as a fine ranging from US$3,000 to US$30,000, under sentencing guideline recommendations.
According to the Associated Press, Busy Signal’s lawyer, Bill Mauzy indicated that he would ask for a sentence of time served while assistant U.S. attorney refused to elaborate on how much time prosecutors in the artiste’s case would seek. No sentencing date has been set in Busy Signal’s case.
U.S. District judge, Donovan Frank outlined that Busy Signal will be given 45 days to leave the United States once he completes his prison term or else he could be nabbed on drug charges stemming from his aforementioned 2002 case. Though the drug charges still exist, the United States government doesn’t have the authority to prosecute Busy Signal on those counts at present given that the extradition request for the entertainer pertained to absconding bail only.
This news comes two months after Busy Signal was taken into custody on an extradition warrant at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston this past May after being deported from the United Kingdom, where law enforcement officials arrested him on the suspicion of using false documentation while traveling.
Busy Signal waived his rights to fight his extradition hearing three days following his arrests and was transported to the United States late last month; accompanied by U.S. Marshals.