SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Six residents of Springfield and Rogersville plead guilty to playing a role in a multi-million-dollar catalytic converter theft scheme across state lines, the United States Department of Justice said on Thursday.
Six of seven defendants indicted in the transportation of thousands of stolen catalytic converters have now pleaded guilty, the latest being Evan Marshall, 24, of Rogersville, who pleaded today, June 16.
Co-defendants who’ve also pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme include Cody Ryder, 30, Enx Khoshaba, 29, Leslie Ice, 37 and Eric Kaltenbach, 37, of Springfield, and Camren Joseph Davis, 25, of Rogersville.
The Department of Justice said Marshall began selling catalytic converters along with other vehicle parts to a company in Mountain Home, Arkansas in 2019. Marshall was asked to sell catalytic converters to the company exclusively, in return for cash to purchase a higher volume of converters.
Marshall would go on to enlist Ryder and Davis to purchase catalytic converters with money provided by Marshall, to be sold exclusively to Marshall. Both admitted to purchasing at least 1,500 stolen catalytic converters from thieves and selling them to Marshall for about $250,000 each. Marshall also knew at the time that many catalytic converters he was receiving were stolen, but continued purchasing them.
The Department of Justice said Marshall had provided co-defendant Ice with blades that were used to cut catalytic converters from vehicles and had paid Ice’s bond after they were taken into custody so they could continue stealing catalytic converters.
In July 2021, Marshall saw security footage online of one of the thieves stealing a catalytic converter in Rogersville and ordered the thief not to steal from the town he lived in.
From December 2019 through October 2021, the Department of Justice said Marshall continued to buy directly from thieves, despite being contacted by a Springfield police detective who informed him the catalytic converters he had purchased were stolen.
Marshall admitted he had bought stolen catalytic converters from all other co-defendants that have been found guilty, as well as from at least six additional suspects.
Marshall has been ordered to forfeit 33 rifles, six shotguns, 26 handguns, a 2011 Ram pickup, a 2004 Dodge Ram, six trailers, a dune buggy, two Harley Davidson motorcycles, a camper, several utility vehicles, 191 catalytic converters and over $125,000, in addition to a money judgement to be determined at sentencing.
Marshal will be sentenced to up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, with each of the other six defendants to be sentenced up to five years without parole.