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Illinois judge charged with heroin, gun posession

By Jim Suhr

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 8:01 a.m. HST, May 24, 2013

ST. LOUIS » A southwestern Illinois judge whose colleague died of a cocaine overdose while the two were on a hunting trip together has been charged with possession of heroin and guns.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook pleaded not guilty during a court appearance today in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.

A criminal complaint accuses Cook of using a controlled substance while in possession of firearms.

A judge ordered him freed on his own recognizance.

Authorities say Cook and newly appointed St. Clair County Judge Joe Christ were staying at the Cook family's hunting lodge in western Illinois' Pike County on March 10 when Christ was found dead. A coroner said today that Christ died of a cocaine overdose.

Cook has not been charged in Christ's death.

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