EAST ST. LOUIS – Douglas Oliver of Fairview Heights confessed what his mother would not, that deaths resulted from their criminal heroin enterprise.
Oliver pleaded guilty Aug. 21 in federal court, agreeing with the government that he deserved enhancement of his sentence for the drug’s fatal effect.
Last year, 30-year-old Jessica Williams died in a home where Oliver lived with his mother, Deborah Perkins, at 20 Kassing Drive.
And 20-year-old Jennifer Herling died at a hospital after an emergency crew rushed her from the house.
“Defendant did not sell the heroin in question to Williams and never intended to harm her," Oliver's plea stipulates. “Defendant did not sell the heroin in question to Herling and never intended to harm her.”
Prosecutors plan to recommend 30 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
U.S. District Judge David Herndon set Oliver’s sentencing for Dec. 13.
Perkins pleaded guilty but disputed that death resulted. Herndon must decide whether to enhance her sentence.
The heroin deaths prompted U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton to open an investigation of drug traffic in St. Clair County.
In January, agents seized 25 grams of heroin at her house and 50 grams at the home of Eric Beckley in Centreville.
In February, grand jurors indicted Perkins, Oliver and Beckley.
In March, circuit judge Michael Cook found circuit judge Joe Christ dead in a Pike County lodge that belongs to Cook’s father, Belleville lawyer Bruce Cook.
In May, Pike County sheriff and coroner Paul Petty determined that Christ died of cocaine intoxication.
To double the shock, Wigginton charged Cook with heroin possession and designated him as an addict.
Agents arrested Cook at the Belleville home of Sean McGilvery, an associate of Perkins and Oliver according to Wigginton.
The shock tripled when Wigginton identified Christ’s supplier as county probation officer James Fogarty.
Grand jurors indicted McGilvery on charges of distributing heroin, Fogarty on charges of distributing cocaine.
Cook waived indictment and arranged a long course of treatment.
Perkins pleaded guilty Aug. 1, stipulating that she provided heroin to Oliver, Beckley, McGilvery and others for resale.
Oliver followed her example 20 days later.
A stipulation of facts that he and the government filed with his plea opens the door of their house for a glimpse of his mother’s business.
“Perkins directed all the others who distributed heroin for her, including the defendant,” it states.
It states that he lived there from 2004 to this year whenever he wasn’t incarcerated.
“During the times that defendant resided at 20 Kassing Drive, he sold heroin to many customers for cash,” it states, noting that they sometimes pooled their cash for her trips to buy heroin in Chicago.
It states that she sometimes fronted heroin for him, waiting for payment until he sold it and that she bought as much as 400 grams at a time – about 14 ounces.
“On occasion, defendant would deliver heroin for Perkins to others, such as Sean McGilvery in Belleville,” the stipulation states.
It states that Oliver sometimes delivered messages about transactions to others that Perkins was afraid to speak to. It describes McGilvery as one of her principal sub dealers, and Beckley as another of her distributors.
Beckley obtained a delay of his trial in June, so he could prepare and negotiate.
District Judge Patrick Murphy set trial Sept. 10, but he recused himself on Aug. 21. Herndon will take the case.
Fogarty also obtained a delay to negotiate a plea.
District Judge Michael Reagan pushed trial back from Aug. 26 to Nov. 18.
McGilvery and Cook stand by their not guilty pleas.
Herndon set McGilvery’s trial Sept. 16.
District Judge William Stiehl set Cook’s trial Oct. 1.