MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A popular Jamaican deejay accused of fleeing the U.S. to avoid a drug trial a decade ago pleaded not guilty Monday to one count of failure to appear in court.
Glendale Goshia Gordon, who performs under the name Busy Signal, could face up to five years in prison if convicted on that count. He was ordered held Monday pending his trial.
Gordon, 33, was charged in February 2002 with two counts related to cocaine trafficking. He fled before his trial was to begin in Minnesota and has been a fugitive for the past decade, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dunn said in court.
Gordon was detained by authorities in London last month and accused of traveling with false documents, including a passport that listed a different name. He was allowed to fly to Kingston, Jamaica, and was arrested at the airport there.
Gordon waived extradition on the failure to appear count and is being prosecuted in the U.S. on that charge alone.
The cocaine charges still exist, but because of extradition treaties, any future prosecution on those counts would have to be worked out between the Jamaican and U.S. governments.
Gordon’s attorney, Bill Mauzy, said in court that the U.S. doesn’t have jurisdiction to prosecute Gordon on the drug charges.
Busy Signal is best known for dancehall tracks “Step Out” and “These Are the Days.”
According to a recent Associated Press review, his latest record “Reggae Music Again,” is a contrast from his reputation as a hardcore dancehall deejay and pays homage to his Jamaican roots with songs of love, hope and liberation.
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