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Press Release

Mother And Son Sentenced For Heroin Distribution And Operating Fairview Heights “Drug House”

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today that on December 5, 2013, Deborah A. Perkins and her son, Douglas A. Oliver, were sentenced in United States District Court for Distribution of Heroin and Maintaining Drug- Involved Premises.

Perkins, 66, was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Oliver, 47, received a sentence of 30 years in prison. Both defendants have been incarcerated since their arrest on February 14, 2013.

United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton stated, “I am proud that we were able to get these two extremely dangerous drug dealers off the streets for good. Heroin is the most deadly drug in the world. I hope the sentences imposed on Perkins and Oliver today will bring some measure of comfort and closure to the families of Jessica Williams and Jennifer Herling, the two young women who lost their lives. I also hope that other drug dealers in our district will take a long, hard look at the severe penalties imposed on Perkins and Oliver, and decide not to take the same risks.”

Prior to their arrests, Perkins and Oliver resided at a notorious drug house which Perkins owned and operated at 20 Kassing Drive, Fairview Heights, Illinois. Because the house was used between 2004 and 2013 as a drug distribution center, a federal judge ordered the residence forfeited.

On August 1, 2013, Perkins pled guilty to federal charges of Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, and Maintaining a Drug House. Oliver pled guilty to the same charges on August 13, 2013.

Oliver admitted that he had given heroin to both Williams and Herling at 20 Kassing Drive in exchange for sex. Both women overdosed and died. In March 2012, Oliver and Perkins moved Williams body from Fairview Heights to a wooded area in Washington Park, Illinois. Police discovered Williams’ body 16 days after her death. Herling died 6 months later, on September 29, 2012, in the basement of 20 Kassing Drive.

The investigation which resulted in the arrest and conviction of Perkins and Oliver was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Fairview Heights, Illinois Police Department, and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Garrison.

Updated February 19, 2015