Following his arrest in early May for smuggling heroin into Japan,
Rick Danko, singer and bassist for the
Band, has been given a suspended sentence. Danko was on a
five-show mini-tour in Japan when he received a package from his
wife that contained the opiate.
During his trial, Danko told the Chiba District Court he had
asked his wife to send him some cold medication for which he had a
prescription; she instead hid heroin in a magazine and sent it to
Danko via courier. The judge presiding over the trial rejected
Danko’s story, but still suspended the two and a half year sentence
for five years.
Based on the judge’s verdict, Danko may not be allowed to go
back to Japan for a full year, according to Ron
Rainey, Danko’s personal manager. “When we talked to
lawyers in the beginning, this is what we were hoping for, but
right now I still don’t have all the details,” Rainey said. Danko
is now out of prison and will return to the States soon, according
The musician has fought a heroin addiction in the past, but now
after spending the last 10 1/2 weeks behind bars, he says he is
clear-minded and has no intentions of falling into any bad habits,
according to Rainey.
And while many people were disappointed when Robbie
Robertson left the Band, Rainey says that he doesn’t rule
out the possibility of the group getting back together, but right
now they have no plans.