Son of ex-East St. Louis political figure faces cocaine charges

News-DemocratSeptember 5, 2013 

The son of a former head of the East St. Louis Central Democratic Committee is facing federal cocaine distribution charges.

Augustus Stacker, Jr., 59, of Caseyville, was indicted Aug. 21 by a federal grand jury in East St. Louis.

The indictment stated that Stacker distributed cocaine "from on or about May 23" -- the day after former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Mike Cook was arrested and federal agents interviewed former St. Clair County Probation Officer James Fogarty about cocaine sales to judges.

Stacker has entered a not guilty plea.

Stacker is the son of Augustus "Gus" Stacker, who was an investigator for former St. Clair County State's Attorney Bob Rice in the 1970s and a former policeman for the Metro-East Sanitary District. Stacker also headed the East St. Louis Democratic Central Committee in the '70s. He died in 1995.

Stacker Jr. was an East St. Louis pecinct committeeman until 1996.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Porter is prosecuting Stacker. He is heading up the prosecution of key figures in a courthouse drug scandal, including Cook on weapons and heroin possession charges and Fogarty, who is selling cocaine to Cook and the late St. Clair County Associate Judge Joe Christ.

Porter declined to comment on whether Stacker Jr.'s indictment is part of the courthouse drug investigation.

Fogarty was interviewed by agents on May 22, according to the criminal case filed in his case. Fogarty acknowledged in that interview that he sold cocaine to Christ and Cook.

Christ died at Cook's hunting cabin in Pike County, Ill., on March 10, just days after receiving his appointment to the bench. He died of cocaine toxicity, according to the Pike County sheriff.

Fogarty told the agent that he sold cocaine to Christ and Cook the week before Christ died.

Fogarty's attorney, Justin Kuehn, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Stacker Jr. listed his employer as Laborer's Local 100 in federal court documents. He is represented by federal public defender Todd Schultz, who could not be reached for comment Thursday.

In St. Clair County, Stacker also faces vote fraud charges. He was charged in April by Cahokia police for marking or tampering with an absentee ballot. That charge is still pending.

Cook was arrested outside a home on North 38th Street in Belleville on May 22. He was later charged with possession of heroin, a federal misdemeanor, and a felony weapons charge. His friend and former client, Sean McGilvery, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possession of heroin.

Cook is free on bond. His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, but U.S. District Judge William Stiehl recused himself from the case last month. A new judge has not yet been assigned.

Fogarty is on home detention. His trial is set to begin on Nov. 18. McGilvery remains in St. Clair County Jail. His trial is set to begin on Sept. 16.

Stacker's trial is set to begin on Nov. 4 before U.S. District Chief Judge David Herndon.

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