Former judge Mike Cook sentenced to 2 years

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI) - A former St. Clair County judge is heading to prison for two years. Michael Cook admitted to using and possessing heroin while owning firearms. He was sentenced Friday at Federal Court in East St. Louis by Judge Joe Billy McDade of Peoria.

Judge McDade said Cook`s long term admitted drug use 'undermined the rule of law' and damaged the public court system. He ordered the maximum supervised release time, three years, following Cook`s time behind bars. Cook will also have to pay a ten thousand dollar fine and $65,583 to cover his incarceration and supervision costs.

U.S. Attorney for Southern Illinois Stephen Wigginton praised the sentence saying, "We did not want his imprisonment borne by the taxpayers and in fact the judge agreed with our request."

Cook`s attorney William Lucco asked the judge to assess only six months in prison pointing to the former judge`s success in a drug treatment program and his continuing efforts to remain drug free. Federal prosecutors asked for an 18 month sentence, three times the six month maximum suggested for first time offenders in federal sentencing guidelines.

The federal judge had refused a plea agreement in February that called for an 18 month sentence saying it was not long enough for someone in Cook`s position.

Cook has fourteen days to appeal the two year sentence. Wigginton said he believes it is a fair, just sentence that can be defended in an appeal. But he pointed out appellate judges look at sentences above the guidelines with extra scrutiny and may reverse them.

Cook comes from a prominent Metro East family of attorneys, but Judge McDade assured the court there were no 'shenanigans' involving the case and that the laws 'have been applied equally.'

Wigginton noted drug dealers who sold illegal narcotics to Cook received longer prison terms because of the quantities of drugs they sold and how the law looks at that crime. "He (Cook) was a drug user; he was not a drug dealer," the U.S. Attorney said.

Cook was part of the drug scandal that rocked the circuit court in Belleville. Authorities arrested him outside drug dealer Sean McGilvery`s home last spring. Cook had been with St. Clair County Judge Joe Christ at the Cook family hunting lodge in Pike County when Christ died of a drug overdose.

Wigginton said Friday that Cook was already under investigation at the time of Christ`s death. Federal and state authorities have been unable to link anyone to the drugs that killed Christ. They do not expect to file any charges of drug induced homicide.

However, prosecutors indicate they are still wrapping up their investigation and are not ready to say it has been concluded.

Betsey.bruce@tvstl.com
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9 comments

    • rose

      Perhaps it’s because he has more money than most people, enough to pay for the best lawyers, being a judge, he should know who they are. obviously,he is not above the law, a judge denied his plea bargain for reasons he felt was not enough prison time. This guy deserves probably more than what he gets, but whatever it is will be more than the state trooper who hit two sisters headon going 120 mph.

    • 2cents

      he could have represented himself not because he is white but a lawyer him self the point is this man beat the system and is gonna eat steak and eggs day in and out at my exspense! p o s herion takes alot of lives everyday should be zero tollerance manslaughter if caught with it!

      • ByeByeToTheRite

        Wrong again, Steven.

        He had money and power in one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And yes, the race card plays here – ANY black in the same situation, no matter how wealthy, would be going to prison 10 years. Not as long as a POOR black man, of COURSE, but longer than this pathetic privileged thug.

        Maybe some day your brain injury will heal and you’ll be able to return to the real world.

  • rose

    OH wow- this judge gave him a whole six more months than the plea bargain wanted. Looks a a lot of money really pays off for the rich criminals.

    • Steven Sweeney

      Illinois democrats are all criminals..Illinois has one of the highest deficits in the country and is full of rich corrupt democrats, see the list of Obama cronies in prison..All Illinois, all democrats..nobody else to blame unless you’re delusional like bye bye..detroit was the same way..

  • ByeByeToTheRite

    I predicted this CORRECTLY several months ago, didn’t I?

    You or I busted for the same offense (heroine and gun possession): 10-20 years. Any black person busted for the same offense: 10-20 years.

    Wealthy, privileged, corrupt white judge for the same offense: Slap on the wrist.

    And his slap on the wrist is a slap in our collective faces.

    Being a judge who sent people to prison for far LONGER for far less serious crimes, he should get MORE punishment. Should be doing at least 10 years, and at least 5 years probation after release.

    Just like that arrogant ISP pig who killed those girls driving like a redneck hick isn’t sitting in jail but instead is collecting welfare from yours and my pocketbooks while trying to get his license back.

    Meanwhile, those two blacks charged with drugs will get 20 years – you just watch and see.

    All this is is more PROOF we have the most corrupt justice and social system in the WORLD bar none.

    I know! Let’s spend TRILLIONS defending it! Being the best country in the world and all…..

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