September 26, 2022
Local News

Harvard man accused of possessing more than 44 pounds of cocaine

A Harvard man accused of possessing of more than 44 pounds of cocaine and $250,000 cash remained at the McHenry County Jail Wednesday on felony drug charges.

McHenry County sheriff's officers arrested 36-year-old Justin J. Pena Tuesday on charges of possession of a more than 900 grams of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

He would need to post $50,000 bail to secure his release. Prosecutors at the McHenry County State's Attorney's Office also have requested Pena, of the 800 block of West Metzen Street, provide the source of any potential bond money before it's posted.

A hearing on the state's request is scheduled for Friday morning.

The charges stem from allegations that Pena possessed a large amount of cocaine on Feb. 11 with the intent to deliver the substance, according to a criminal complaint. A warrant for Pena's arrest was issued Feb. 24 and executed Tuesday, records show.

Throughout the course of the sheriff's office's investigation, police recovered about 20 kilograms, or more than 44 pounds, of cocaine worth an estimated $640,000, according to prosecutors' motion. Police also recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, according to the state's filing.

The McHenry County Public Defender's Office has been appointed to represent Pena, who indicated on a financial affidavit that he has been unemployed for the past year.

Katie Smith

Katie Smith

Katie reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald from 2017 through 2021. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.