Prosecutor blames St. Clair County justice for lack of drug convictions; Wilkerson to decide on McGilvery's detention

By Steve Korris | Jun 20, 2013

EAST ST. LOUIS – First Assistant U.S. Attorney James Porter blames St. Clair County justice for the absence of criminal convictions against alleged heroin dealer and addict Sean McGilvery of Belleville.

Porter reacted at a hearing today in U.S. District Court, after McGilvery’s lawyer cited his clean record as grounds for granting him bond.

Porter said he was aware that a report from probation officers listed no convictions.

“We are also aware that the reason is because of the people he dealt with in the courthouse,” Porter said.

“He simply hasn’t been made to pay for any of the things he has done in the past.”

McGilvery allegedly supplied heroin that addicted former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook.

Cook dismissed a felony drug possession charge against McGlivery last year after ruling he successfully completed a “drug school” program.

Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson addressed McGilvery at the hearing, “You have a tremendous, ferocious addiction.”

McGilvery’s protection from prosecution began to break down last November, when federal prosecutors opened an investigation into drug dealing at 20 Kassing Dr. in Fairview Heights.

Two women had died from overdoses that allegedly occurred at the house.

In January, Porter filed drug distribution charges against the occupants of the home, Deborah Perkins and Douglas Oliver. In May, he charged McGilvery, as an associate of Perkins and Oliver, and he charged Cook with heroin possession.

He also charged county probation officer James Fogarty with cocaine distribution.

Wilkerson denied bond to McGilvery, after Porter classified him as a flight risk and a danger to the community.

McGilvery’s lawyer Rodney Holmes of St. Louis moved for reconsideration.

At the hearing, Holmes said McGilvery is an admitted heroin addict.

McGilvery has no felony convictions, and McGilvery’s family ties are all in the St. Louis metropolitan area, Holmes said.

He said McGilvery has no resources and that the risk of flight is slim. He said a drug treatment program has a bed available for 30 days.

“He has been cold turkey since his arrest,” Holmes said.

He said that at their first interview McGilvery was shaking, sweating and throwing up.

“He has gotten over that,” Holmes said.

He said probation officers can test McGilvery for drugs.

He said McGilvery’s family can provide a stable living environment.

Porter attributed the lack of convictions to the county courthouse, and said McGilvery’s drug use continued through prior treatment.

He said McGilvery used heroin, methadone, xanax and oxycodone.

“He was all over the board all the time,” Porter said.  “Mr. McGilvery is an expert at lying and hiding and evading responsibility for his actions.”

Holmes repeated that the report showed no convictions.

“You can’t look beyond the four corners of that document,” Holmes said.

He said that by Porter’s argument no drug addict should get bond.

Wilkerson said the treatment program wouldn’t offer methadone.

He said that even when McGilvery had treatment with methadone, he used heroin on top of it.

“It’s still cold turkey to use your attorney’s words,” Wilkerson said. “The court is hesitant to place you in that situation.

“It is possible that as soon as you have an opportunity you will take it.”

He asked if an aunt was present who would take him into her home.

A woman at the back of the room raised her hand.

Wilkerson told a probation officer to interview her.

“It frightens me to put you in this residential program especially when you tell me you have been taking methadone for a year and a half and this is a program with no methadone,” Wilkerson said.

“I will make a decision in a day or so.”

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