Blues Traveler Bassist Arrested On Drug Charges

He was headed to join the band to open another Rolling Stones show.

Headed to Canada to prepare for another in a series

of opening gigs for the Rolling Stones' Bridges To Babylon tour,

Blues Traveler bassist Bob Sheehan was arrested Monday night at the Winnipeg

International Airport, when he was found in possession of two grams of cocaine,

according to police.

Sgt. Ken Shipley of the Winnipeg Vice Department said Sheehan was charged with

possession of a controlled substance and importing of a controlled drug.

No other members of the band appear to have been with the 29-year-old Sheehan,

who was en route to the fourth of Blues Traveler's nine Bridges To Babylon

opening act sets.

The arrest would not affect Tuesday night's performance at Winnipeg Stadium,"

according to Carl Shier, public information officer for the Winnipeg Police

Service. "He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to attend a court

appearance this morning," Shier said Tuesday morning. Following the hearing,

Sheehan was released on $5,000 bond, Shier added, and ordered to return to

Winnipeg for an Oct. 22 preliminary hearing.

A&M Records, Blues Traveler's label, released a short statement on Tuesday which

confirmed that Sheehan was arrested at the Winnipeg airport Monday night.

The statement read that "no dates in support of the Rolling Stones, or headline

appearances, will be canceled." Neither band management nor A&M had further

comment on the arrest.

Shipley, a Drug Sergeant with the Winnipeg Vice Department, said, if convicted,

Sheehan faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for the possession

charge. The maximum, but unlikely, penalty for bringing drugs into Canada

could be much more serious, however, he added.

"The other charge of importing a controlled substance could carry a maximum

life imprisonment penalty," said Shipley, who added, however, that he has

never recalled such a stiff sentence being handed down for a conviction.

"Given that this is his first offense in Canada, that seems very unlikely,

but bringing it in is the more difficult part of it."

With Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act having replaced the Narcotic

Control Act in May of this year, Shipley said it was unclear what Sheehan might

face if convicted, since this was the first time his department has had to

deal with an importing charge since the new Act was implemented.

Blues Traveler helped the Rolling Stones kick-off their Bridges to

Babylon tour on Sept. 23 in Chicago. [Tues., Sept. 30, 1997, 5 p.m. PDT]