U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton has reduced sentences for at least three drug dealers in prison and proposes to do the same for at least five more, yet not in public view.
Wigginton has filed eight motions under seal for prisoners, and Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan has sealed orders granting three of them.
Neither Reagan nor Wigginton’s spokesman, James Porter, responded to requests for an explanation.
No public record confirms the substance of Reagan’s orders except the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website, where the release dates of the three prisoners have changed.
All three will serve less than half the time they originally agreed to serve.
The procedure Wigginton followed indicates that he acted under Rule 35, which allows reductions when prisoners provide substantial assistance to prosecutors.
Any such assistance, however, has not led to any new prosecution.
Former St. Clair County probation officer James Fogarty, cocaine supplier to the late judge Joe Christ, will spend two years behind bars instead of five.
Cocaine killed Christ, but Fogarty successfully pleaded that he didn’t deliver the fatal package.
Sean McGilvery, who admitted he sold heroin to former St. Clair County judge Michael Cook, will serve about four years instead of 10.
Cook serves two years for possessing heroin and using it while possessing firearms. Wigginton has not moved to reduce his sentence.
Wigginton has filed a motion in regard to McGilvery’s heroin source, Deborah Perkins, who serves a 27 year sentence.
He has also filed a motion in regard to Perkins’s son, Douglas Oliver, who serves 30 years for distributing his mother’s drugs.
District Judge David Herndon, who sentenced Perkins and Oliver, has not granted Wigginton’s motions.
Since March 31, Wigginton has filed motions under seal in regard to four prisoners from a cocaine distribution conspiracy out of East St. Louis.
Reagan granted one motion, reducing the sentence of Brian Matthews from 15 years to about seven.
Another motion pertains to Antwone Johnson, currently facing 15 years. Reagan ordered Johnson to respond by May 8.
A prisoner has the right to respond to a reduction motion, if he believes it does not match a prosecutor’s promises.
Another motion pertains to former East St. Louis detective Orlando Ward, currently facing five years for sharing confidential police information with drug dealers.
Another motion pertains to Jaren Jamison, currently facing five years.
Wigginton has filed no motions for conspiracy leader Martez Moore or associates Dewayne Hill and Bryant Sawyer.
Moore faces about 18 years, Hill faces 15, and Sawyer faces five.