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Waukegan men charged in murder-for-hire plot

Rafael Vargas (left) Mario Cruz (right) were charged with two counts solicitaticommit murder for hire Lake County state’s attorney’s office

Rafael Vargas (left) and Mario Cruz (right) were charged with two counts of solicitation to commit murder for hire, the Lake County state’s attorney’s office said.

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Updated: February 12, 2014 6:10AM



Two Waukegan men are being held in Lake County Jail on $1 million bond charged with attempting to arrange a contract killing.

Rafael Vargas, 46, and Mario Cruz, 38, are both charged with two counts of solicitation to commit murder for hire, the Lake County state’s attorney’s office said Friday.

Vargas believed his wife was having an affair with another man and attempted to find someone to kill him, said Cynthia Trujillo Vargas, spokeswoman for the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Cruz acted as the middleman in the scheme, she added.

The men were allegedly trying to set up the murder when undercover agents with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group got involved.

According to prosecutors, Vargas reached out to Cruz to find someone to kill his wife.

Vargas paid an undercover officer $1,000 on Nov. 22 and had planned to pay another $7,000 on Nov. 26, after he believed the murder had been carried out, prosecutors said.

Both men were then taken into custody and were indicted Wednesday by a Lake County grand jury.

Cruz is scheduled for arraignment Jan. 14 in Lake County Circuit Court.

Vargas is scheduled for arraignment Jan. 23.



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