EAST ST. LOUIS — A former city official accused of trying to extort money from a former St. Louis Cardinals player is headed back to federal prison.
George "Little Jack" Edwards, 54, of 9 Linden Drive in Shiloh, had his supervised release revoked after federal agents searched his residence and allegedly found drugs last month.
The revocation of his supervised release was issued Feb. 8. Edwards is listed on the federal Bureau of Prisons website as "in transit."
Edwards, who has strong ties to East St. Louis, where he once served as the head of the city's demolition department, was most recently seeking a contract with the city not to exceed $10,000 to be a demolition consultant.
Edwards applied for this job under the name CJE Enterprises with his name, George H. Edwards Jr., being signed as superintendent. His wife, Charlotte Edwards, was listed as president/owner of the business. The application date was July 17.
The matter was on the agenda at a September City Council meeting but Edwards did not get the contract.
Brian Gandy, supervisory U.S. probation officer, confirmed Edwards' arrest by federal agents.
Edwards pleaded guilty in 2007 to wire fraud in the extortion case that targeted former Cardinals second baseman Ronnie Belliard.
Edwards was seeking $150,000 from Belliard, in exchange for keeping quiet about Belliard allegedly getting his daughter pregnant after he met her at a nightclub in St. Louis.
The extortion target was not identified by name in court documents. But a person familiar with the investigation, told The Associated Press that Belliard was the target.
Belliard has since retired from Major League baseball.
Edwards was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for the wire fraud charge that federal agents charged him with in connection to the extortion case involving Belliard.
The sentence Edwards received in the extortion case was less than the recommended guideline range of 21 to 27 months. Edwards also was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution and serve four years supervised release.
Edwards was also out of prison on federal probation for a 1985 charge of distribution of a controlled substance. The charge came out of the Southern District of Illinois.
One of the conditions of Edwards' supervised release was that authorities could search his home anytime "based on reasonable suspicion," Gandy said.
Mayor Alvin L. Parks said he had heard about Edwards' arrest but he hadn't seen anything official. He said if in fact Edwards has been arrested, "I feel bad for Jack and his family for this situation it appears he has entered into."
Parks said Edwards has not had a connection with the city since 2006.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.