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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Former Drug Property In Fairview Heights Forfeited

House Located at 20 Kassing Drive, Scene of Drug Overdose Deaths, Will Be Demolished

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that the forfeiture proceedings against the former drug house and real property located at 20 Kassing Drive in Fairview Heights, Illinois, have been completed. The property will be given to the City of Fairview Heights for public use. It is believed that the City will proceed with demolition of the building on property and eventually turn the property into a “pocket” park area.

“I am hopeful that the eventual use of this land by the citizens of Fairview Heights as a place of peace and relaxation will help erase the awful memories of the drug deals and the deaths which were connected to this site.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.

Deborah A. Perkins, 66, the owner of the property, forfeited her rights to her home and signed a Stipulation and Consent to Forfeiture. Perkins admitted that she sold heroin from the residence. Two young women, Jessica Williams and Jennifer Herling, died as a result of the drugs they received from persons at this residence. In addition to losing her home, Perkins was sentenced to 324 months imprisonment.

Lennil Johnson, of the St. Clair County Jail, attempted to take advantage of the forfeiture proceedings. Johnson filed fictitious claims against 20 Kassing Drive, claiming an ownership interest in the property. In adjudicating this forfeiture, the District Court denied Johnson’s claims, and, on April 1, 2014, sanctioned Johnson $1,000 for his actions. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s handling of this action.

Updated February 19, 2015