A Waukegan man accused of trying to sell 5 pounds of crystal meth pleaded not guilty Thursday in Lake County court.
Rene Gomez-Cazares, 23, of the 700 block of Commonwealth Drive, is free on bond after being charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and a second charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
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A second man, Jose Hernandez-Hernandez, 28, of the 2900 block of Spaulding Drive in Waukegan, faces the same charges but failed to attend the arraignment hearing Thursday. Judge James K. Booras issued a $500,000 arrest warrant against him.
Waukegan police arrested Gomez-Cazares and Hernandez-Hernandez on Nov. 1 with more 900 grams of methamphetamine, Assistant State's Attorney Danielle Pascucci said.
Police said officers received a tip that a large amount of crystal meth was to be delivered to the 2400 block of Grand Avenue on that date. The tip prompted Waukegan police and DEA officers to stake out the location.
Pascucci said the estimated street value of the drugs is $50,000.
Gomez-Cazares faces up to 60 years in jail if found guilty of the most serious charge and must serve at least 75 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole, Pascucci said.
Gomez-Cazares is due back in court Jan 23.