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Ringleaders sentenced in scheme to transport stolen catalytic converters across state lines

Thousands of catalytic converters were stolen as part of a multi-million-dollar business

Springfield, Mo.—Three Rogersville, Mo., and Springfield, Mo., men have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a scheme to transport tens of thousands of stolen catalytic converters across state lines as part of a multi-million-dollar business.

“These three defendants were the ringleaders of a scheme that impacted thousands of area residents,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. “We worked closely with a number of our law enforcement partners to shut down their multi-million-dollar operation and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Evan Marshall, 25, of Rogersville, Cody Ryder, 31, of Springfield, and Camren Joseph Davis, 25, of Rogersville, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool on Monday, Dec. 19.

Marshall was sentenced to five years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. The court also imposed a $750,000 money judgment against Marshall to be forfeited to the government, ordered Marshall to pay $19,133 in restitution to victims of the conspiracy who law enforcement were able to identify, and forfeiture to the government of the following items that were seized by law enforcement: 33 rifles, 20 scopes, six shotguns, 26 handguns, a Glock sub conversion kit, eight ammunition magazines, a 2011 Ram 3500 one-ton pickup, a 2004 Dodge Ram, a flatbed trailer, two 42-foot gooseneck flatbed trailers, a 16-foot livestock trailer, a 2021 Load N Go utility trailer, a 2007 car hauler trailer, a Volkswagen dune buggy, two Harley Davidson motorcycles, a 2012 Keystone 5th wheel camper, a Caterpillar skid steer, a 2019 Honda Talon SXS 1000 side by side, a 2016 Polaris RZR side by side, a Polaris Ranger 4×4,  and 191 catalytic converters.

Ryder was sentenced to two years and five months in federal prison without parole. Davis was sentenced to five years of probation. The court imposed money judgments against Ryder and Davis to forfeit to the government $125,000 each.

“We are pleased to be a part of, and to see the successful ending, to this long-term investigation,” said Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams. “It is good to see the main participants in this crime being held accountable, and the potential for restitution for victims in our community.”

“Our community is painfully aware that catalytic converter thefts are not victimless crimes,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge of the HSI Kansas City Area of Responsibility Josh Armstrong. “While many may consider catalytic converter thefts to be victimless, all too often criminals involved in these types of thefts sometimes funnel the profits gained to organized criminal networks to fund additional, more dangerous crimes.”

On June 16, 2022, Marshall pleaded guilty to one count of transporting stolen property across state lines. Ryder pleaded guilty on June 13, 2022, and Davis pleaded guilty on April 21, 2022, to their roles in a conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines.

Co-defendants Enx Khoshaba, 30, Leslie Ice, 38, and Eric Kaltenbach, 38, all of Springfield, and Danielle Ice, 34, of Columbia (formerly of Springfield), have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines and await sentencing.

Marshall admitted that he transported stolen catalytic converters, valued at $1 million or more, across state lines from December 2019 to October 2021. Marshall also admitted that he bought tens of thousands of stolen catalytic converters directly from his co-defendants and from other thieves, and sold the stolen catalytic converters for a total of approximately $1 million.

Marshall began selling the catalytic converters to a company in Mountain Home, Ark., in the fall of 2019. At that time, Marshall would purchase junk vehicles and sell the vehicles’ parts, including the catalytic converters. In the late fall of 2019, the owners of the Mountain Home company asked Marshall if he would begin purchasing catalytic converters in southwest Missouri and sell to them exclusively. Marshall agreed to do so; in return, they regularly provided Marshall with cash so that Marshall had the funds to purchase a higher volume of catalytic converters. They also provided Marshall with a list of valuable catalytic converters. By December 2019, Marshall had mostly ceased buying junk vehicles and scrapping them out for parts, and instead began purchasing already-detached catalytic converters from scrap yards and individual sellers.

By January 2020, the owners of the Mountain Home company were wiring Marshall hundreds of thousands of dollars on a monthly basis so that Marshall could purchase a higher volume of detached catalytic converters.

By December 2019, Marshall had also enlisted Davis to work for him and another company, which Marshall also established in December 2019. Davis’s job was to purchase catalytic converters using cash that Marshall provided him. During that time period, Marshall provided Davis with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to purchase catalytic converters on Marshall’s behalf. As part of the arrangement, Davis exclusively sold the catalytic converters he purchased to Marshall. On at least one occasion, Marshall provided Davis with $40,000 in cash for the purchase of catalytic converters on Marshall’s behalf.

Davis admitted that he bought at least 1,500 stolen catalytic converters from various thieves and sold them to Marshall for a total of approximately $250,000.

In February 2021, Marshall enlisted Ryder to work for him and his company. As with Davis, Ryder’s job was to purchase catalytic converters using cash that Marshall provided him. From February 2021 through October 2021, Marshall provided Ryder with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to purchase catalytic converters on Marshall’s behalf. As part of the arrangement, Ryder exclusively sold the catalytic converters he purchased to Marshall. On at least one occasion, Marshall provided Ryder with $10,000 in cash for the purchase of catalytic converters on Marshall’s behalf.

Ryder admitted that he bought at least 1,500 stolen catalytic converters from thieves and sold them to Marshall for an aggregate amount of approximately $250,000.

Many of the catalytic converters that Davis and Ryder purchased with the cash Marshall provided them were stolen, and Marshall knew at the time that many of them were stolen. Marshall paid Davis and Ryder an agreed-upon percentage amount over their purchase price for the catalytic converters, less the amount of cash Marshall had fronted them.

From December 2019 through October 2021, in addition to utilizing Davis and Ryder as buyers of stolen catalytic converters, Marshall also purchased stolen catalytic converters directly from thieves. In July 2020, a Springfield, Mo., police detective contacted Marshall regarding the purchase of catalytic converters from individuals known to be thieves. Despite being put on notice that he was purchasing stolen catalytic converters, Marshall continued to purchase stolen catalytic converters, including from at least one of the individuals identified by the detective.

Marshall admitted that he knowingly purchased stolen catalytic converters from co-defendants Davis, Ryder, Ice, Kaltenbach, Khoshaba, and at least six other thieves. Marshall transported and sold almost all of the catalytic converters, including the stolen catalytic converters, to the owners of the Mountain Home business.

Marshall, Davis, Ryder and others loaded the catalytic converters, including the stolen catalytic converters, into bins that were placed on trailers at Marshall’s residence. They hauled the trailers, which each contained between 800 and 1,200 catalytic converters, many of which were stolen, from Rogersville to Mountain Home. Marshall transported catalytic converters from Rogersville to Mountain Home approximately every two weeks from December 2019 through October 2021.

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