Blues Traveler bassist Bobby Sheehan was arrested on drug charges at the Winnipeg International Airport Monday evening as his band arrived in Canada to open two concerts for the Rolling Stones. A customs inspector who found about two grams of cocaine in Sheehan's wallet turned him over to the Winnipeg police.
The incident threatened Blues Travelers Tuesday night appearance with the Stones at Winnipeg Stadium, but the show ultimately went on as planned. A statement released by the band's label, A&M Records, said that none of its scheduled concerts would be affected.
At his arraignment Tuesday morning, Sheehan was freed on a $5,000 surety bond and ordered to return for a preliminary hearing on October 22, when he will face charges for possession of a controlled substance and importing of a controlled drug. Sheehan didn't talk during the court appearance, preferring to let his lawyer speak for him.
The possession charge carries a possible $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. The more serious charge of importing drugs carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, though such a harsh sentence seems very unlikely.
Ironically, Sheehan's legal trouble comes just a little over 20 years after Keith Richards' arrest in Toronto for heroin possession.