Figure in courthouse drug scandal to be sentenced

News-DemocratJanuary 22, 2014 

Sean D. McGilvery, an accused heroin dealer and key figure in a drug scandal that has rocked the St. Clair County court.

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A Belleville man who has admitted to selling heroin on a daily basis to former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday in federal court.

Sean D. McGilvery faces a potential sentence of from 10 years to life in prison based on his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute heroin. McGilvery, who has been held in custody, is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan at 10 a.m. in East St. Louis.

Based on a plea agreement, prosecutors have recommended a sentence of from 10 to 11 years. At the high end, McGilvery would have to serve about 9 years, or 85 percent of his sentence. Plea agreements, while not binding on a judge, are often accepted.

Cook, who has pleaded guilty, is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 26 in federal court in East St. Louis. He pleaded guilty in November to heroin possession and weapons charges and agreed to a plea agreement calling for a sentence of 18 months.

However, the judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge Joe Billy McDade of Peoria, has filed a motion for a supplemental pre-sentence investigation in which he outlined three reasons for an upward departure of sentencing guidelines that could increase the sentence. They include damage to the public's confidence in the judiciary.

Contact reporter George Pawlaczyk at gpawlaczyk@bnd.com or 618-239-2625.

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