• Probation officer pleads guilty in courthouse drug scandal

    by  • November 7, 2013 • News

    A former southern Illinois probation officer has pleaded guilty to drug and weapon charges filed in connection with a judicial corruption case.

    The Belleville News-Democrat reports James Fogarty pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and unlawful user in possession of a firearm.

    An investigation into a heroin-trafficking ring prosecutors say involved supplying the drug to former judge Michael cook also snared Fogarty.

    Fogarty is accused of providing cocaine to cook and associate judge Joe Christ on several occasions, including on the eve of the judges’ march hunting trip. Christ died of a cocaine overdose at the cook family’s western Illinois hunting cabin.

    Cook is charged with possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances. He awaits a scheduled December trial.