A North Chicago man is in federal custody after he was charged with trafficking and distributing almost 50 kilograms of cocaine, worth an estimated $1.6 million.
Gilberto Almanza, 44, of North Chicago, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on two counts of distribution of a controlled substance, one count of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug-trafficking activities.
According to the indictment and a criminal complaint previously filed in the case, Almanza distributed approximately 46 kilograms of cocaine on Sept. 2, 2021.
The delivery occurred in a restaurant parking lot in Bolingbrook, the charges allege.
Unbeknownst to Almanza, the individual who received the cocaine in the transaction was cooperating with law enforcement, the charges allege.
A second drug deal occurred last month at Almanza’s residence in the 2100 block of Dugdale Road in North Chicago.
Another individual, who was also cooperating with law enforcement, bought approximately half a kilogram of cocaine from Almanza during that deal, the charges allege.
Law enforcement conducted a court-authorized search of Almanza’s residence on March 17 and discovered approximately two kilograms of cocaine and a loaded Kaltec P32 handgun.
Authorities seized approximately $41,500 in cash during the warrant.
The total seized amount — 48.5 kilograms of cocaine — is worth approximately $1.649 million at wholesale value, law enforcement told Lake and McHenry County Scanner.
Almanza faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Almanza is currently detained in federal custody, prosecutors said. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Friday before U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly.