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Canada to Seek Max for Keith

Drug posession charge could land Richards in jail.

Keith Richards posed in Brussels, Belgium on May 6th, 1976.
Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns
June 16, 1977

Keith Richards, who has been staying with friends in Camden, New Jersey, since he left Toronto on April 1st, received some bad news on May 9th. Canadian authorities said privately that they plan to press for the maximum sentence for the drug charges against him.

There has been considerable speculation in Toronto that Richards' case would be settled before his June 27th trial date and that the charge against him for possession of one ounce of heroin with intent to traffic would be lessened to the much less serious charge of mere possession. If convicted of the intent-to-traffic charge, he would face a sentence of seven years to life in prison. Under Canadian law, he would be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of the sentence.

Sources in Toronto told Rolling Stone that chief prosecutor Julius Isaacs informed Richard's lawyers that Canada would go all out to get the maximum charge.

Richards, who has been in and out of New York City working with Mick Jagger to finish mixing the Stones' live album – set for a June 1st release – could not be reached for comment.

This story is from the June 16th, 1977 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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