Peotone man arrested in $12K cocaine bust in Aurora

A Peotone man has been arrested by Kane County sheriff's deputies on charges he planned to sell $12,100 worth of cocaine to an informant in Aurora.

Robert E. Richards, 35, of the 100 block of North West Street, faces one count of felony possession of 100 to 400 grams of a controlled substance with intent to deliver stemming from his arrest March 13, according to Kane County court records.

Richards, according to a Kane County sheriff's report, had sold about two ounces, or 56.7 grams, of cocaine to a confidential source in DuPage County on Feb. 19 and had planned to sell four ounces of cocaine to a confidential source who was meeting him at the Aurora Outlet Mall on March 13.

Richards was on his way to the deal at 7:21 p.m. when he was pulled over by a deputy for failing to signal when turning right onto 1650 Premium Outlets Boulevard. The deputy smelled an odor of burned marijuana coming from Richards' 1997 Buick, according to a sheriff's report.

Richards denied smoking any marijuana, but the deputy searched the vehicle and found 121.1 grams of cocaine, which had an estimated value of $12,100, authorities said.

Sheriff Ron Hain characterized that amount as "alarmingly inexpensive, which would indicate a current increase in flow of cocaine onto our streets."

Richards later admitted he planned to sell the drugs, authorities said.

Authorities also have petitioned to have Richards' vehicle seized under the state's Drug Asset Forfeiture Act.

If convicted of the most severe charge, Richards faces a punishment of six to 30 years in prison, and probation is not an option.

Richards' bail has been set at $200,000, meaning he must post $20,000 to be released from the Kane County jail while the case is pending. If he does post bond, Richards must prove it comes from legal sources. He is next due on court Friday.

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