Jamaican DJ admits he left US before drug trial

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By AMY FORLITI, Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A popular Jamaican DJ, who admitted he left the United States 10 years ago before his scheduled trial on drug charges, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of failure to appear in court.

Glendale Goshia Gordon, who performs under the name Busy Signal, could face between 12 to 18 months in prison and a fine of $3,000 to $30,000, under sentencing guideline recommendations.

His attorney, Bill Mauzy, told The Associated Press he'd ask for a sentence of time served. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dunne declined to say how much time prosecutors would seek. A sentencing date has not been set.

Gordon, 33, was charged in February 2002 with two counts related to cocaine trafficking, which carried a sentence of at least 15 years in prison. He fled the U.S. before his trial was to begin in Minnesota and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He has been a fugitive for the past decade.

"You knew you should appear, and you didn't," U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank said while asking Gordon a series of questions Thursday.

"Yes, your honor," Gordon replied.

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

Gordon waived extradition on the failure to appear count. 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. The United States doesn't have jurisdiction to prosecute Gordon on those counts at this time.

Frank said once Gordon serves his sentence, he'll be given 45 days to return to Jamaica. If he remains in the U.S. after that, he could be arrested 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 album, "Reggae Music Again," is a contrast from his reputation as a hardcore dancehall DJ and pays homage to his Jamaican roots with songs of love, hope and liberation.

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