Michael Cook, the former circuit judge in St. Clair County’s drug court, has been assigned to a halfway house in St. Louis as he nears the end of his two-year sentence for heroin possession and a weapons charge, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons website.
Former county probation officer James K. Fogarty, who supplied cocaine to Cook and the late Joseph Christ, an associate judge, has also been assigned to Dismas House, a home for men who are about to be released from federal prison sentences. Christ died in March 2013 of a cocaine overdose at a hunting lodge in Pike County then owned by a member of Cook’s family.
Cook, 45, is scheduled for release on Feb. 20 and Fogarty, who was sentenced to five years but saw his sentence reduced, is set to return home on Feb. 18.
Rules at the halfway house require that Cook and Fogarty, 48, who could not be reached, must be employed daily. Efforts to reach a spokesperson at the halfway house were unsuccessful.
Both men were sent last year to the minimum security Pensacola Federal Prison Camp in Florida where they were allowed to travel by bus to nearby jobs. The facility allows prisoners to wear civilian clothing, attend educational classes, and work at the nearby Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Cook was arrested outside a home on North 38th Street in Belleville on May 22, 2013, by federal agents. Cook’s longtime friend and former client Sean McGilvery lived in the home.
Cook was later charged with possession of heroin and being the user of a controlled substance in possession of weapons. Cook, who was then the presiding judge over drug court, resigned from the bench after his arrest, turned in his law license and entered drug treatment.
McGilvery pleaded guilty to heroin distribution charges and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.