ODB's Hearing On Drug Charges Delayed Again

Case stemming from 1999 narcotics bust pushed back for the ninth time.

Rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard was scheduled to appear in court Thursday (March 15) to answer charges stemming from a 1999 drug bust, but once again the case was adjourned.

Queens County Supreme Court Judge Joseph A. Grasso rescheduled the hearing for May 4 but the matter may be resolved earlier, according to ODB defense lawyer Peter Frankel, who requested the continuance to further pursue a plea bargain for his client.

Thursday's postponement is the ninth time the case has been bumped from its original court date of August 13, 1999, and the Queens County district attorney is anxious to have the matter resolved, Frankel said. If the case doesn't advance in the next few weeks, on May 4 the rapper could also be indicted on bail-jumping charges for his failure to appear before the court after escaping from a Los Angeles rehab clinic in October (see "Ol' Dirty Bastard Flees Drug-Treatment Facility"). On Thursday prosecutors were willing to wave the bail-jumping indictment if the rapper pleaded guilty, Frankel said.

Ol' Dirty Bastard (Russell Jones) faces charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree after cops allegedly found the Wu-Tang Clan member with 20 bags of crack (see "ODB Arrested In NYC On Drug, Driving Charges").

The bail-jumping charge carries a mandatory 18-month to three-year sentence that would run consecutively with any jail time derived from the drug charges, which could amount to a maximum of three-and-a-half to seven years behind bars for ODB.

If a guilty plea is entered, the case will appear before a judge before May 4.