Six citizens of Springfield and Rogersville, Missouri, pled guilty in federal court to their participation in a multi-million-dollar plan to transport tens of thousands of stolen catalytic converters over state lines.
Evan Marshall, 24, of Rogersville, pleaded guilty to one count of conveying stolen property across state lines today before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool.
Six of the seven suspects indicted have now entered pleas of guilty. Cody Ryder, 30, Enix Khoshaba, 29, Leslie Ice, 37, and Eric Kaltenbach, 37, all of Springfield, and Camren Joseph Davis, 25, of Rogersville, all pled guilty to conspiring to transfer stolen property across state lines.
Marshall admitted today that from December 2019 to October 2021, he carried stolen catalytic converters worth at least $1 million across state boundaries. Marshall also acknowledged purchasing tens of thousands of stolen catalytic converters from his co-defendants and other thieves and selling them for a total of $1 million.
In the fall of 2019, Marshall started selling catalytic converters to a Mountain Home, Arkansas-based company. Marshall would buy scrap cars and sell the parts, which included catalytic converters, at the time.
The founders of the Mountain Home company approached Marshall in the late fall of 2019 and asked if he would start buying catalytic converters in southwest Missouri and selling them solely to them. Marshall agreed to do so in exchange for regular financial payments, allowing him to buy more catalytic converters.
They also sent Marshall a list of catalytic converters that were in high demand. Marshall had generally stopped collecting trash cars and scrapping them for pieces by December 2019 and had instead started buying already-detached catalytic converters from scrap yards and private dealers.
By January 2020, the Mountain Home company’s owners were sending Marshall hundreds of thousands of dollars every month for Marshall to buy a larger quantity of unattached catalytic converters.
Marshall hired Davis to work for him and another company he founded in December 2019. Davis’ task was to buy catalytic converters with money granted by Marshall.
Marshall gave Davis hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to buy catalytic converters on Marshall’s behalf during that period.
Davis sold the catalytic converters he bought to Marshall solely as part of the agreement. Marshall sent Davis $40,000 to buy catalytic converters on Marshall’s behalf on at least one occasion.
Davis acknowledged buying at least 1,500 stolen catalytic converters from multiple thieves and selling them to Marshall for around $250,000.
Davis was contacted by a Springfield Police Department detective in July 2020 about his purchase of catalytic converters from thieves. Davis continued to buy stolen catalytic converters after being warned.
Marshall hired Ryder for his company and himself in February 2021. Ryder’s role, like Davis’s, was to buy catalytic converters with money provided by Marshall. Marshall sent Ryder hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from February to October 2021 to help him buy catalytic converters.
Ryder agreed to sell the catalytic converters he bought to Marshall solely as part of the agreement. Marshall gave Ryder $10,000 to buy catalytic converters on his behalf on at least one occasion.
Ryder acknowledged buying at least 1,500 stolen catalytic converters from thieves and selling them to Marshall for about $250,000.
Many of the catalytic converters Davis and Ryder bought with the money Marshall gave them were stolen, and Marshall knew it. Marshall agreed to pay Davis and Ryder a portion of the catalytic converters’ purchase price, less the money Marshall had put up front.
Marshall purchased stolen catalytic converters directly from thieves from December 2019 to October 2021, in addition to using Davis and Ryder as buyers.
Marshall was contacted by a Springfield, Missouri, police detective in July 2020 about the purchase of catalytic converters from thieves. Marshall continued to buy stolen catalytic converters despite being warned that he was doing so, including by at least one of the detective’s suspects.
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Marshall acknowledged purchasing stolen catalytic converters from Davis, Ryder, Ice, Kaltenbach, Khoshaba, and at least six additional crooks. Almost all of the catalytic converters, including the stolen ones, were transported and sold by Marshall to the Mountain Home business owners.
Marshall, Davis, Ryder, and others loaded the catalytic converters, including the stolen ones, into bins on trailers at Marshall’s house.
They transported the trailers from Rogersville to Mountain Home, which contained between 800 and 1,200 stolen catalytic converters. From December 2019 through October 2021, Marshall delivered catalytic converters every two weeks from Rogersville to Mountain Home.