NOV 07 (WAUKEGAN, Ill) - On Thursday, November 1, 2012, based on information from a reliable source that a large amount of Methamphetamine AKA “crystal meth” was going to be delivered to the Lake County, Illinois area, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) along with the officers from Waukegan Police Department Gang Intelligence Unit (GIU) conducted surveillance and located the suspect vehicle in the 2400 block of Grand Avenue, in Waukegan, Illinois. Officers made contact with the suspect vehicle and driver and located 5 pounds of crystal meth, with an estimated street value of $227,000.
Two suspects were arrested; Rene Gomez-Cazares, 23, of the 700 block of Commonwealth and Jose D. Hernandez-Hernandez, 28, of the 2900 block of Spaulding. Both were charged with Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (UPCS) and UPCS with intent to deliver. Both charges are classified as Super X. Gomez-Cazares is being held at the Lake County Jail on a $200,000 bond. Hernandez-Hernandez is being held at the Lake County Jail on a $150,000 bond. The next court date is scheduled for November 29 in courtroom C-120 at 1:30 PM.
The arrests and charges were announced by Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the DEA and Waukegan Police Chief Daniel Greathouse.
“The rise in demand for methamphetamine here in Chicago and the surrounding communities is a significant concern,” said SAC Riley. “This increase in availability and abuse is due in part to the substantial involvement of Mexican criminal organizations in trafficking meth.”
Chief Greathouse stated, “Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth) has been around for years. Fortunately, there hasn’t been a large demand for this poison in the Chicagoland urban markets. Reliable intelligence reports indicate that a particular Mexican drug cartel has been attempting to establish a market in Waukegan for the last eight months. This won’t happen on my watch. Thus far, we’ve been able to thwart their efforts.
I was a young detective when crack cocaine first hit the streets of Waukegan in the early 90’s. I was shocked by how quickly crack cocaine became the drug of choice. Our crime rate skyrocketed; organized street gang membership increased exponentially, families and neighborhoods were destroyed. I’ve always felt we could have or should have done more to slow the tide, but no one saw it coming. By the time we realized crack cocaine was on the streets, it was already too late.
As with crack cocaine, once our local gang bangers learn how to cut, market, distribute, and turn a profit from selling crystal meth, it will be too late. As a community, if we don’t make a stand against this poison, our community is going to be devastated in ways we never thought possible.
The entire Department has been refocused and tasked with developing strategies to battle this assault on our community. This month we will be increasing the number of detectives assigned to our Gang Intel Unit (GIU); who, along with two officers assigned to DEA and one to ICE, are the primary officers responsible for our drug enforcement efforts. This increase will mark the largest commitment of officers dedicated to gang and narcotics enforcement in the history of our Department.”
The public is reminded that complaints contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.