17 arrested, 3 more charged in federal drug investigation

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MCDONOUGH CO., Ill (KWQC) - McDonough County Sheriff's Department released the following information on their Facebook page regarding a federal investigation into methamphetamine distribution in west central Illinois.


October 25, 2018

Operation Iced Out

McDonough County Sheriff Nicholas M. Petitgout and Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker announce the federal indictments of three subjects during the course of Operation Iced Out by the Macomb/McDonough County Drug Unit.

The Macomb/McDonough County Drug Unit has representation from the McDonough County Sheriff’s Office, Macomb Police Department, Bushnell Police Department, and Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety.

On October 24, 2018, Levi J. Sloan, 23, of Bushnell, IL, Donald E. Graham, 48, of Bushnell, IL, and James A. Newman, of Dallas City, IL were indicted in the United States District Court Central District of Illinois at Rock Island for distributing methamphetamine throughout several counties in West Central Illinois.

The federal investigation has been ongoing for the last 6 months and has covered McDonough County, Knox County, Warren County, Henderson County, Mercer County, Fulton County, Hancock County, and Burlington, IA. During the course of the investigation Law Enforcement has seized over 2 pounds of methamphetamine and multiple firearms. Investigators learned throughout the course of the investigation that approximately 50 pounds of methamphetamine a month was being distributed throughout the 7 west central Illinois counties.

The following subjects have been arrested during Operation Iced Out in McDonough County for possessing or delivering methamphetamine:

Jesse R. Pickrel, 27, of Bushnell, IL
Jerel J. Guarin, 39, of Macomb, IL
Vincent K. Farrar, 35, of Bushnell, IL
Donald H. Friday, 22, of Bushnell, IL
Seth R. Yates, 35, of Bushnell, IL
Michael A. Smith, 24, of Bushnell, IL
Damon J. Niethe, 22, of Bushnell, IL
Blake A. Yazvec, 32, of Ipava, IL
Joshua A. Easley, 36, of Astoria, IL
Shandler R. Williams, 23, of Astoria, IL
Kelsea T. Nicholas, 26, of Plymouth, IL
Slade H. Kline, 23, of Plymouth, IL
Jayson A. Kurdi, 32 of Monmouth, IL
Gary D. Whitten, 42, of Burnside, IL
Michael J. Snodgrass, 44 of Blandinsville, IL
Lane R. Scott, 24, of Macomb, IL
Kaleb E. Holzheuser, 29, of Oquawka, IL

The following subjects are currently wanted by the McDonough County Sheriff’s Office for distributing methamphetamine:

Heather M. Gillette-Oyler, 34, of Bushnell, IL
Mamie K. Wojtkiewicz, 30, of Bushnell, IL

The Macomb/McDonough County Drug Task Force was assisted in the investigation by the D.E.A., West Central Illinois Task Force, Galesburg Police Department, Monmouth Police Department, Burlington Iowa Police Department, Warren County Sherriff’s Office, Fulton County Sherriff’s Office, Mercer County Sherriff’s Office, and the Hancock County Sherriff’s Office.

The McDonough County States’ Attorney’s Office along with the Hancock, Warren, and Henderson County States’ Attorney’s Office all assisted in the investigation.

Future arrests and indictments are expected during the next several months.

All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.