News Flash: Blues Traveler Bassist To Answer Drug Charges

The arraignment for Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan, arrested for possession and importing of cocaine while on his way to a gig opening for the Rolling Stones in Canada last month, has been pushed back until early next year. Sheehan is now scheduled to enter a plea on the drug charges on Jan. 12.

Sheehan, 29, was arrested at the Winnipeg International Airport on Sept. 29, when, according to police, he was found in possession of two grams of cocaine. Sheehan's attorney Ray Fleet was present in a Winnipeg court on Wednesday, at which time the case was scheduled for the Jan. 12 arraignment.

The Blues Traveler bassist was arrested after the illicit drug was allegedly found on his person at the airport and later charged with possession of a controlled substance and importing of a controlled drug. He was en route to the fourth of Blues Traveler's nine opening act sets on the current Rolling Stones' Bridges To Babylon tour.

Following his arrest, Sheehan was released on his own recognizance on a $5,000 bond and ordered to return to Winnipeg for Wednesday's hearing. Sheehan and the band played the gig opening for the Stones, despite the arrest.

Catherine Finnbogason, the Federal Crown Attorney representing the state in the case was unavailable for comment at press time. There "is no restriction whatsoever" on Sheehan's movement while awaiting the court date, Fleet said.

Following the arrest, A&M Records, Blues Traveler's label, released a short statement confirming the arrest. Sheehan and Blues Traveler performed last weekend (Oct. 18-19) at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert to raise money for the school for physically challenged children.

If found guilty on the charges of possession, Sheehan faces up to six months in jail and a possible $1,000 fine. The importing charges carry a much stiffer penalty. A not guilty plea would result in a bench trial at a later date, Fleet said. -- Gil Kaufman [Thurs., Oct. 23, 1997, 5:30 p.m. PDT]