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Meth Arrests in Western Illinois

20 western Illinois residents were arrested on meth-related charges as part of a six-month investigation authorities are calling Operation Iced Out. The investigation was carried out by the Macomb-McDonough County Drug Unit, which includes members from the Macomb Police Department, the Bushnell Police Department, the McDonough County Sheriff's Department, and the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety.

The drug unit received assistance from numerous other agencies including the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

The sheriff’s department said three of the suspects were indicted in federal court in Rock Island for distributing meth in several counties:

  • Levi J. Sloan of Bushnell
  • Donald E. Graham of Bushnell
  • James A. Newman of Dallas City

17 others were arrested for possessing or delivering meth. They are Jesse R. Pickrel of Bushnell, Jerel J. Guarin of Macomb, Vincent K. Farrar of Bushnell, Donald H. Friday of Bushnell, Seth R. Yates of Bushnell, Michael A. Smith of Bushnell, Damon J. Niethe of Bushnell, Blake A. Yazvec of Ipava, Joshua A. Easley of Astoria, Shandler R. Williams of Astoria, Kelsea T. Nicholas of Plymouth, Slade H. Kline of Plymouth, Jayson A. Kurdi of Monmouth, Gary D. Whitten of Burnside, Michael J. Snodgrass of Blandinsville, Lane R. Scott of Macomb, and Kaleb E. Holzheuser of Oquawka.
The sheriff’s department said it is searching for two other suspects accused of distributing meth:

  • Heather M. Gillette-Oyler of Bushnell
  • Mamie K. Wojtkiewicz of Bushnell

The sheriff’s department said the investigation covered Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, and Warren counties in western Illinois plus Des Moines County in southeast Iowa.
Investigators said they seized more than two pounds of meth along with an undisclosed number of firearms.  They said around 50 pounds of meth was being distributed through the region every month.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.