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Circuit judge charged in drug scandal

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook recently became embroiled in a scandal when he was arrested and charged with federal drug-related charges in connection to a drug case against Sean D. McGilvery, an accused drug dealer arrested last week for his supposed involvement in a drug scandal in St. Clair County. McGilvery has pleaded not guilty to charges of possession and distribution of heroin.

Cook was apparently arrested at his home on May 22 and charged May 24 with possession of heroin and being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of firearms. He pleaded not guilty to both charges, which were connected to the case against McGilvery, though sources aren’t clear as to how.

McGilvery is accused by prosecutors of possessing and distributing large quantities of heroin, over one kilogram, in an operation in which resources were pooled and drugs trafficked from Chicago. According to Drug Enforcement Agency task force officers, McGilvery conspired with two others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin.

The other two defendants were charged in September with concealment of the homicide of a Collinsville woman. Investigators have said that the those defendants moved the woman’s body after she overdosed on heroin.
A St. Clair County probation officer has been arrested in connection with the case against Cook, allegedly for providing drugs to Cook and to a deceased judge who died of cocaine intoxication back in March. The probation officer has apparently admitted to using drugs with Cook and the deceased judge on various occasions.

Drug charges are not easy to defend against, as the legal and evidentiary issues involved can be complex. It is important to work with an experienced advocate in building a strong defense against such charges.

Source: Madison-St. Clair Record, “Accused drug dealer pleads not guilty in federal court,” Ann Maher, May 30, 2013.

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