Dealer connected to Belleville judge heroin scandal pleads guilty

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI) - An admitted drug dealer with connections to the scandal involving two St. Clair County judges changed his plea to guilty on Wednesday. Two women whose daughters got heroin from him and later died from overdoses.  They think he should be locked up for life.

Mother and son drug dealers from Fairview Heights face decades in prison.  They have both have pleaded guilty to operating a heroin distribution business from their home on Kassing drive. Court records show Deborah Perkins and her son Douglas Oliver provided drugs to a third dealer Sean McGilvery.

Former St. Clair County Judge Michael Cook was arrested on drug and weapons charges at McGilvery's Belleville home.

Ginny Thomason and Chris Keel have been watching this ongoing drug investigation closely.  Both lost daughters to overdoses after Douglas gave them heroin. Deborah Perkins entered her guilty plea on August 1st.  Oliver appeared in the East St. Louis Federal Court on Wednesday and admitted he was guilty of three federal drug charges.

Ginny Thomason, whose daughter Jessica Williams,  died 17 months ago.  She says she felt some relief in the courtroom and hopes they'll be locked up for life.

The mother of victim Jennifer Herling, Chris Keel, said she pleaded with drug suspect and former Judge Michael Cook to send her daughter to rehab; but he did not.

Both women hope to see additional charges filed against Cook, Perkins and Oliver by the St. Clair County State's attorney.

Douglas Oliver and his mother Deborah Perkins will be sentenced on federal charges here in East St. Louis in December.

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