May 27, 2014

Convicted judge Cook to report to federal prison Wednesday

Former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael N. Cook will be known as Inmate 10258-025 beginning Wednesday when he is scheduled to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to begin serving a two-year prison sentence.

Cook, 44, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin charges and being an addict in possession of firearms. U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade sentenced Cook to two years in prison on March 28.

The site of where Cook will report is not immediately disclosed by the Bureau of Prison, but it will be where Cook will serve the majority of his prison sentence, a spokesman said.

"By his own admission, he abused heroin and/or prescription pain pills (on) a daily basis beginning as early as 2008, and abused cocaine two to three times per week beginning in 2009-10," McDade wrote in his sentencing order.

"He was an associate court judge from 2007-11, then a circuit court judge from 2011 until his arrest on the instant office. Therefore, his drug abuse closely mirrored his tenure on the bench."

Cook presided over felony cases and the county's drug court after he was elected circuit judge.

Cook was arrested by federal agents on May 22, 2013, outside Sean McGilvery's house on North 38th Street in Belleville. Cook and McGilvery both admitted the McGilvery was Cook's drug dealer.

McGilvery, 35, a former legal client and friend of Cook, is serving a 10-year prison sentence on heroin distribution and conspiracy charges at the federal prison in Marion. Former Probation Officer James Fogarty was sentenced to five years on cocaine distribution charges. He is serving that sentence at the federal prison in Pensacola, Fla.

After Cook's arrest, Fogarty told an FBI agent he sold an eighth of an ounce of cocaine to Cook and Joe Christ, a new associate judge and longtime prosecutor, days before Christ died from cocaine toxicity while staying at a hunting cabin in Pike County owned by Cook's family.

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