Grand jury issues first indictments in courthouse drug scandal

News-DemocratJune 19, 2013 

The first federal indictments related to the arrest of a former St. Clair County judge were returned on Tuesday.

Sean D. McGilvery, 34, a longtime friend of former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Mike Cook, and James D. Fogarty, a former St. Clair County probation officer, were indicted by the grand jury.

Cook, who faces charges of being a user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and misdemeanor heroin possession, waived indictment at his first appearance. Cook, 43, has resigned as judge and is in a Minnesota drug treatment facility.

Grand jury proceedings are not open to the public. McGilvery and Fogarty were charged in the case, but a grand jury would hear evidence and decide if there were enough evidence to issue an indictment.

The grand jury indicted Fogarty on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm.

Fogarty was questioned by FBI agents the day of Cook's arrest. Fogarty told them that Cook and then-Associate Judge Joe Christ bought drugs from Fogarty in March shortly before the 49-year-old Christ died of cocaine toxicity at a Pike County hunting cabin owned by Cook's family, according to court documents. Fogarty told a federal investigator he sold an "eight ball," or one-eighth of an ounce of cocaine, to the judges for $275.

The grand jury indicted McGilvery on one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin.

McGilvery is accused of conspiring with Deborah A. Perkins and Douglas W. Oliver to buy large quantities of heroin in Chicago and resell the drugs in the metro-east.

On May 22, Cook, who was then a sitting judge presiding over felony cases, including drug court, was arrested outside McGilvery's house in the 300 block of North 38th Street in Belleville.

McGilvery is scheduled to be in court Thursday to argue for his release from St. Clair County Jail and into a drug rehabilitation facility to treat his heroin addiction.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at bhundsdorfer@bnd.com or 618-239-2570.

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