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Criminal Justice

Once-Prominent Illinois Lawyer to Plead in Cocaine Case

Posted Sep 10, 2008 3:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A former southern Illinois lawyer and Democratic power broker has accepted a plea deal in a cocaine case that calls for a six-year federal prison sentence and $525,000 in financial penalties and restitution.

Additionally, U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert indicated that he is likely to charge Thomas Lakin, 68, a $127,000 incarceration fee, reports the Belleville News-Democrat. Lakin founded the Lakin Law Firm, located across the river from St. Louis.

Lakin, who was taken into custody after today's federal court hearing in East St. Louis, Ill., agreed to plead guilty to what the News-Democrat describes as "drug charges stemming from the cocaine-fueled sex parties he held." The three specific charges to which he will plead guilty are possession with the intent to deliver cocaine, distributing cocaine to a person under 21 and maintaining a drug-involved premises, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"In exchange for the guilty plea, federal prosecutors are dropping other drug charges and sex charges that accused Lakin of sexual activity involving male and female teens," the Post-Dispatch writes.

However, Lakin's lawyer, Scott Rosenblum, said after the hearing that his client denies the sex allegations and would not have pleaded guilty to them, the newspaper article continues.

Lakin has voluntarily given up his license to practice law in Illinois, notes a 2006 article in the Madison County Record.

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