A St. Clair County probation officer accused of providing cocaine to St. Clair County judges told an FBI agent how the men used drugs together on multiple occasions, including golf outings, at a hunting cabin, at his residence – and on the day before one of the judges died from cocaine intoxification.
James K. Fogarty, 45, of Belleville, a probation officer assigned to the department’s investigative unit, was charged in federal court on Friday with possession and intent to distribute cocaine.
He told agent Joseph Murphy that he “did a line” with Circuit Judge Michael Cook and Associate Judge Joseph Christ, and sold them a split “eight ball” of cocaine for $140 each, the day before the judges went to the Pike County cabin in March, according to Murphy’s affidavit. Fogarty said he made $5 off the deal.
Fogarty is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Donald Wilkerson at 1:30 p.m. on May 28.
The hunting cabin located in rural Pleasant Hill is where Christ – who had only been a judge for less than two weeks - was found dead on March 10 by his companion Cook. It was revealed Friday that Christ’s death was caused by cocaine intoxification – not natural causes as the public was told at the time he died.
Cocaine and paraphernalia were retrieved from the scene, according to the Pike County Coroner.
Cook was charged Friday with being a user of heroin in possession of a firearm and possessing heroin. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was released on a $10,000 unsecured recognizance bond.
Murphy’s affidavit states that Fogarty recalled talking to Cook three or four days after Christ’s death.
“Fogarty talked to Cook in his chambers at the St. Clair County Court Building,” the affidavit states. “Cook told Fogarty he heard a bang and went to the bathroom in the cabin. There, he found that Christ was dead.”
A St. Louis Post-Dispatch report states that the volunteer firefighter who responded to the scene, sometime after 6:18 p.m., said he had been told the men had been to a hunters’ banquet the night before in Pittsfield, and guessed “they partied all night” and didn’t go to bed until the morning.
Cook was arrested Wednesday evening at the Belleville home of Sean D. McGilvery who also has been rounded up and charged in the unfolding scandal.
McGilvery is accused of possessing and distributing large quantities of heroin – exceeding one kilogram -- in an operation where resources were pooled and drugs were run from Chicago. In one instance last December, McGilvery allegedly made a $50,000 heroin purchase.
He was charged on May 23 and is being held in custody by U.S. Marshals pending a detention hearing on May 30.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) task force officer Neal Rohlfing stated in an affidavit that McGilvery conspired with Deborah A. Perkins, 65, and Douglas W. Oliver II, 47, a mother-son duo from Fairview Heights, to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute in excess of one kilogram of heroin.
Perkins and Oliver were charged in September with concealment of the homicidal death of Jessica M. Williams of Collinsville. Cook did not initially preside over their cases but did so months later, court records show.
Investigators identified Perkins and Oliver as responsible for moving the body of Williams – who died of a heroin overdose – from Fairview Heights to Washington Park to conceal her death.
The case against Cook came to light Thursday morning when State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly filed close to 500 motions for the substitution of judge in pending criminal cases before Cook, saying the judge was prejudiced.
Kelly, who indicated he had been assisting with the federal investigation of Cook, elaborated on the reasons for seeking substitution from Cook in two of the hundreds of motions, citing only the cases of Perkins and Oliver. In the other hundreds of motions Kelly filed, he referenced the reasons enumerated in Perkins and Oliver.