Player in courthouse drug scandal sent to prison

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A former southwestern Illinois probation officer caught up in a courthouse drug scandal involving two judges has been ordered to spend five years in federal prison on cocaine and weapons charges.

Forty-six-year-old James Fogarty was sentenced Thursday in East St. Louis. That's where he pleaded guilty in November to possessing cocaine with plans to distribute it, and with unlawfully having a firearm.

Fogarty was a St. Clair County probation worker who allegedly provided cocaine to former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook and Cook's friend, Joe Christ.

Christ died of a cocaine overdose last March while staying with Cook at the Cook family's hunting cabin.

Cook hasn't been charged in Christ's death, but has pleaded guilty to federal heroin and gun charges. He's to appear in court March 28.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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