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Two Waukegan men arrested with $227,000 in crystal meth

Jose D. Hernandez-Hernandez 28 2900 block Spaulding Waukegan charged with unlawful possessicontrolled substance unlawful possessicontrolled substance with intent deliver. |

Jose D. Hernandez-Hernandez, 28, of the 2900 block of Spaulding in Waukegan charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Methamphetamine is a stimulant that resembles glass fragments or shiny blue-white “rocks” of various sizes, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is highly addictive with potent central nervous system stimulant properties. Those who smoke or inject it report a brief, intense sensation, or rush while oral ingestion or snorting produces a long-lasting high instead which reportedly can continue for as long as half a day.

Long-term meth users exhibit violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and psychotic features, including paranoia, aggression, visual and auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, and delusions.

It’s often cooked up in small laboratories using household chemicals, including some cold medications. These labs themselves can be dangerous fire hazards and can turn a home toxic.

A few years ago Libertyville police made an arrest after a dumpster caught on fire twice and fire crews made the connection and notified police.

Source: Drug Enforcement Administration

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Updated: December 9, 2012 7:35PM

WAUKEGAN — Two local men are in Lake County Jail after police say they planned to distribute five pounds of crystal meth with an estimated street value of just under a quarter-million dollars.

For Police Chief Daniel Greathouse, the drug bust brought back memories of the devastating effects of crack cocaine had on the community when he was a young detective and he plans on increasing the number of officers combating the meth problem, he said Wednesday.

Greathouse said intelligence reports indicated that a Mexican drug cartel has been attempting to establish a market for crystal meth in Waukegan for the last eight months. “This won’t happen on my watch. Thus far, we’ve been able to thwart their efforts,” he said.

Methamphetamine (crystal meth) has been around for years and “fortunately, there hasn’t been a large demand for this poison in the Chicagoland urban markets,” Greathouse said, but once area gang members learn how to cut, market, distribute and turn a profit from selling the drug, it will be too late.

That’s why he is refocusing the police department to develop strategies to stop the flow of the drug and he is also increasing the number of detectives assigned to the Gang Intelligence Unit, he said. Together with two officers assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration and one with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, these are the primary officers responsible for the department’s drug enforcement efforts.

“This increase will mark the largest commitment of officers dedicated to gang and narcotics enforcement in the history of our department,” he said, “As a community, if we don’t make a stand against this poison, or our community is going to be devastated in ways we never thought possible.”

Greathouse said he was shocked in the early ’90s when he was a young detective by how quickly crack cocaine became the drug of choice. “Our crime rate skyrocketed, organized street gang membership increased exponentially, and families and neighborhoods were destroyed,” he said.

“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,” said Greathouse.

On Nov. 1, GIU officers and DEA agents received information that a large amount of crystal meth was going to be delivered to the Lake County area. They conducted surveillance and located the suspect vehicle in the 2400 block of Grand Avenue in Waukegan. Inside, they found five pounds of the drug with a street value of $227,000.

Arrested were Rene Gomez-Cazares, 23, of the 700 block of Commonwealth Avenue, and Jose Hernandez-Hernandez, 28, of the 2900 block of Spaulding Avenue, both of Waukegan. They were charged with Super X felonies of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession with intent to deliver.

Gomez-Cazares is being held at the Lake County Jail on a $200,000 bond and Hernandez-Hernandez is being held on a $150,000 bond. They are scheduled to appear in Lake County Circuit Court on Nov. 29.

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