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State

Disgraced Illinois judge to begin prison term

BELLEVILLE – A disgraced former Illinois drug court judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal is scheduled to begin serving a two-year sentence on heroin and gun convictions.

Online court records show Michael Cook must surrender by Wednesday to the lockup that the Federal Bureau of Prisons slots for him. The location isn't made public until a defendant actual reports to begin serving their sentence.

The 43-year-old pleaded guilty in November to a misdemeanor heroin-possession charge and a felony count of having firearms while being a user of controlled substances. He was sentenced in March.

Cook resigned after he was charged last year, about two months after the March 2013 cocaine-overdose death of fellow judge Joe Christ. Christ died while the two were at the Cook family's Illinois hunting cabin.

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