LOWELL -- Two Lowell men are being held on $100,000 cash bail each, accused of shooting a 16-year-old Lowell teen twice in the leg during a drug deal gone bad Monday afternoon.

In Lowell District Court Tuesday, Jason Ruggs, 20, and 19-year-old John Wachaga, both of Lowell, pleaded not guilty to charges of armed assault to murder and armed assault to rob. Judge Thomas Brennan held each man on $100,000 cash bail with probable cause heairng scheduled for both on Feb.19.

A third man, Robert Loh, 19, of Lowell, is facing the same charges. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutor Phil Chen alleges that the three men drove to an East Merrimack Street address about 1 p.m. Monday to buy $160 of marijuana in a drug deal arranged through a third party.

Witnesses told police that Wachaga allegedly provided Ruggs with a .38-caliber semi-automatic handgun as Ruggs and Loh went to meet the 16-year-old to buy the marijuana.

But things went wrong when Ruggs and Loh allegedly tried to rob the 16-year-old at gunpoint, police said. The teen refused to hand over the drugs and was shot in the leg,Chen alleges. As the teen tried to flee, he was shot again.

The three suspects were identified by witnesses, Chen said.

For more on this story see Wednesday's Sun or www.lowellsun.com.