Steve Korris Oct. 30, 2013, 8:24am


EAST ST. LOUIS – Augustus Stacker of Belleville has confessed that he supplied the cocaine that probation officer James Fogarty sold to the late judge Joe Christ and others.

Stacker pleaded guilty in federal court on Oct. 18, to a charge of distributing a mixture or substance containing cocaine.

Stacker and U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton stipulated that he purchased cocaine from persons in the Southern District of Illinois and redistributed it to Fogarty.

“One such transaction was captured on audio recordings as Fogarty arranged for Stacker to deliver cocaine to him,” they stipulated.

The transaction occurred on May 23, a day after drug agents arrested Fogarty.

After his arrest, Fogarty told federal agents that he sold cocaine to Christ a day before Christ and former Circuit Judge Michael Cook went to a hunting lodge in March in Pike County. Christ was a long time St. Clair County assistant prosecutor who had only been a judge for about a week when he died March 10 of cocaine toxicity at the lodge owned by Cook's father, Belleville attorney Bruce Cook. Michael Cook was charged May 24 with possession of heroin and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms. He entered a not guilty plea to both charges. He stepped down from the bench shortly after charges were filed and entered into a drug treatment facility. He awaits trial Dec. 9.

Grand jurors indicted Stacker on Aug. 21.

He pleaded not guilty on Aug. 29, and Magistrate Judge Clifford Proud released him on $10,000 bond.

On Oct. 16, public defender Todd Schultz called off a trial that Chief Judge David Herndon would have held on Nov. 4.

Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams accepted Stacker’s guilty plea two days later.

Williams denied the government’s motion to detain Stacker without bond.

Herndon set his sentencing Jan. 31.

Stacker’s plea agreement shows convictions for retail theft in 2005, and failure to pay child support in 2009.

He currently faces a St. Clair County felony charge of unlawfully taking an absentee ballot of a voter for deposit into the mail.

Grand jurors indicted him on the charge in June, and he pleaded not guilty in July.

Circuit Judge Jan Fiss set a hearing for him on Nov. 12.

Fogarty plans to plead guilty of cocaine distribution on Nov. 6.

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