Drug ring suspect to plead guilty Aug. 1

By Steve Korris | Jul 30, 2013


EAST ST. LOUIS – Deborah Perkins of Fairview Heights, who allegedly ran a busy drug trade from her home, plans to plead guilty on Aug. 1.

U. S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams posted a notice on July 29, that he would hear Perkins change her plea in three days.

Prosecutors regard her as an associate of Sean McGilvery, who allegedly supplied the heroin that addicted former St. Clair County circuit judge Michael Cook.

McGilvery faces heroin distribution charges and Cook faces heroin possession charges.

Two female customers of Perkins and her son Douglas Oliver set the stage for the drug investigation last year, by overdosing in their drug house at 20 Kassing Drive.

Perkins and Oliver allegedly dumped the body of one on a vacant lot in East St. Louis.

Oliver summoned an ambulance for the other, too late to save her.

The deaths prompted U. S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton to start an investigation.

He indicted Perkins and Oliver in February, on charges of conspiring to distribute heroin and other controlled substances.

The indictments didn’t start a sensation, but mother and son gained fame after former circuit judge Joe Christ died.

Cook found Christ’s body on March 10, on a bathroom floor of the Cook family hunting lodge in Pike County, 85 miles north of Belleville.

In May, Pike County Sheriff Paul Petty attributed Christ’s death to cocaine.

Arrests followed for Cook and McGilvery.

Agents also nabbed St. Clair County probation officer James Fogarty, charging him as cocaine supplier for Christ and others.

For Perkins and Oliver, District Judge David Herndon set trial on July 1.

They moved to continue it on June 20, telling Herndon they planned to plead guilty.

Their lawyers wrote that they requested plea agreement documents from the government but hadn’t received them.

Oliver has not scheduled a change of plea hearing.

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