MACOMB — The county drug unit’s Operation Icemelt is starting to heat up.
Macomb Police Chief Curt Barker told the Voice on Tuesday that the message at this point to meth users and distributors is simple: “We are going after the meth people. They might as well figure we are coming.”
Although names of suspects are not being made public prior to arrests, area law enforcement has not typically been bold in making wide-reaching assertions. Narcotics investigators with the city police and county sheriff’s office both told the Voice that more people will be picked up on meth charges “in the coming days.”
Operation Icemelt is part of a three-month investigation into the trafficking of “ice” or high-quality crystal meth into the county.
According to Barker, ice is manufactured in Mexico under direction of the cartels. Information from the Drug Enforcement Agency indicates the cartels produce a purer form of meth with access to genuine ephedrine powder bought from Chinese manufacturers.
The cartel meth labs are able to produce mass quantities unlike the previously encountered “shake and bake” meth cooks in the United States who use cold pills, lithium batteries and a bevy of hazardous chemicals often available at home improvement and auto parts stores.
“Compare how they had to get pills and anhydrous ammonia in the past, and all the other laws they had to violate to obtain meth that way,” Barker said. “Now we’ve got someone who just shows up with it.”
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Leslie Valine Clark, 34, of Bushnell on Sunday for possession and delivery of meth following a traffic stop.
On Monday night, city officers arrested Phyllis Longcor, 53, of Macomb after a search of her residence at 725 W. Washington St. A press release from the police department states three grams of ice quality meth, five Vicodin pills and drug paraphernalia were recovered.
Longcor was charged with possession of less than 5 grams of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. Amy Kirby, 37, of Macomb was also arrested at the residence for a Hancock County warrant.

Reach Jared DuBach by email at jdubach@mcdonoughvoice.com, or follow him on Twitter@JaredDuBach.