Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Motions for reduced sentences of heroin dealers Perkins and Oliver remain pending

By The Madison County Record | Sep 22, 2015

EAST ST. LOUIS – Government motions to shorten sentences of drug dealers for former St. Clair County judges swiftly succeeded, but a motion for the mother and son who supplied the dealers has gathered dust all year.

As of Sept. 22, District Judge David Herndon had not decided whether to reduce the sentences of Deborah Perkins and Douglas Oliver.

Perkins faces 21 years in prison and Oliver faces 24, for running a drug business from their home at 20 Kassing Drive in Fairview Heights.

U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton, who negotiated their guilty pleas in 2013, moved for shorter sentences last December.

At the same time, Wigginton moved to reduce the sentence of Sean McGilvery, heroin supplier for former judge Michael Cook.

District Judge Michael Reagan granted the motion in six days, trimming McGilvery’s sentence from 10 years to less than six.

This February, Wigginton moved to reduce the sentence of former probation officer James Fogarty, cocaine supplier for the late judge Joe Christ.

Reagan granted the motion in six days, trimming Fogarty’s sentence from five years to about half that.

Fogarty will finish his sentence on Feb. 18, according to the online inmate locator of the Bureau of Prisons, and McGilvery will finish his sentence in 2017.

All four motions and both orders remain under seal, and no public record confirms their contents except the changes of release dates on the inmate locator.

Wigginton apparently acted under federal law authorizing shorter sentences for prisoners who provide information in criminal investigations.

A prisoner should get credit only if information leads to indictment, yet Wigginton has not identified any indictment that resulted from prison information.

Perkins and Oliver operated openly for years, in spite of constant neighborhood complaints to police and city leaders.

No one put a stop to it until two guests of Oliver died.

Federal agents investigated Perkins, learned that she planned to buy heroin in Chicago, and caught her with the goods when she returned.

Wigginton obtained indictments in January 2013.

In March 2013, Christ died in Cook’s Pike County hunting lodge.

In May 2013, agents arrested McGilvery, Fogarty and Cook.

Wigginton charged Cook with possessing heroin and using it while possessing firearms, and Cook waived indictment.

Cook and Wigginton reached an agreement that Cook would plead guilty and serve 18 months, but senior judge Joe McDade of Peoria rejected the agreement.

He sentenced Cook to 24 months, a stretch that will end on Feb. 20.

Wigginton’s silence on sentence reductions extends to two other public corruption scandals he investigated in 2013.

He has not identified any indictment behind a reduction that translated into almost immediate freedom for former Madison County treasurer Fred Bathon.

Bathon pleaded guilty in 2013, to charges that he rigged bids at auctions of delinquent taxes to favor Democrat campaign contributors.

Nor has Wigginton justified a shorter sentence for former East St. Louis detective Orlando Ward, who took $5,000 to guide a drug shipment through his city.

Reagan cut Ward’s sentence from five years to three and a half, setting him up for release in October 2016.

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