Former St. Clair County probation officer James Fogarty, alleged cocaine supplier for the late judge Joe Christ, plans to plead guilty to selling the drug.

U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan posted notice on Oct. 24, that he would hear Fogarty change his plea from not guilty on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Reagan had set his trial for Nov. 18.

Drug agents confronted Fogarty at his home on May 22, and showed him text messages he had received from Christ.

Federal prosecutors charged that Fogarty possessed cocaine with intent to distribute it and that he possessed a firearm while using cocaine.

Fogarty’s lawyer, Clyde Kuehn of Belleville, argued in June that someone else might have provided the cocaine that killed Christ.

At a detention hearing, Kuehn said Christ allegedly received 1.5 grams of cocaine from Fogarty on the Friday before he died.

Kuehn said Christ would have metabolized that amount by the following Sunday, when he died in the Pike County hunting lodge of Belleville lawyer Bruce Cook.

Assistant U.S. attorney James Porter sought to detain Fogarty without bond, calling his actions “a jaw dropping extraordinary breach of trust for the courts of St. Clair County.”

Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams released Fogarty on $10,000 bond, finding he recognized the seriousness of the offense and the scrutiny he is under.

Reagan set trial for Aug. 26, but Fogarty requested a delay on July 31. Defense lawyer Justin Kuehn, son of Clyde, wrote that he anticipated a plea agreement.

He wrote that he was reviewing reams of telephone records.

Porter did not object to a delay, and Reagan granted it.

In August, Chief Judge John Baricevic said he reviewed all of Fogarty’s files and found no cause to believe he misused his position.

“So far there doesn’t appear to be any indication that he wasn’t doing his job appropriately,” Baricevic said.

He said he sent the information to federal prosecutors.

“They have information we don’t have and shouldn’t have,” Baricevic said.

More News