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7 Springfield, Rogersville residents charged for conspiracy involving thousands of stolen catalytic converters

A federal grand jury has indicted seven southwest Missouri residents for roles in a conspiracy...
A federal grand jury has indicted seven southwest Missouri residents for roles in a conspiracy to transport thousands of stolen catalytic converters across state lines.(KY3)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 3:12 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 9:29 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A federal grand jury has indicted seven southwest Missouri residents for roles in a conspiracy to transport thousands of stolen catalytic converters across state lines.

The following residents from Springfield and Rogersville face charges for criminal activity:

  • Evan Marshall, 24, Rogersville
  • Camren Davis, 24, Rogersville
  • Cody Ryder, 30, Springfield
  • Leslie Ice, 22, Springfield
  • Danielle Ice, 33, Springfield
  • Eric Klattenbach, 37, Springfield
  • Enx Khoshaba, 29, Springfield

The federal indictment charges all seven for participating in a conspiracy to transport stolen catalytic converters across state lines from Dec. 12, 2019 to Oct. 15, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore and Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams announced criminal charges at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

THURSDAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT:

Williams says Springfield noticed an alarming rise of catalytic converter thefts over the last two years when much of this criminal activity was suspected.

From 2016 to 2018, the Springfield Police Department had an average of nine catalytic converter thefts per year. In 2020, there were 408 reported catalytic converter thefts. In 2021, there were 1,045 reported catalytic converter thefts, including 111 in July.

Marshall became the target of a federal investigation in October 2021. According to the indictment, Davis and Ryder worked for Marshall and reportedly bought stolen catalytic converters on Marshall’s behalf.

In Feb. 2021, Davis started a new company that purchased and sold automotive cores, including catalytic converters. The indictment alleges that Ice, Klattenbach, Khoshaba and others stole catalytic converters in the Springfield area and elsewhere, then sold them to Davis and Ryder, who sold them to Marshall.

According to the indictment, Marshall had started a new company in 2019 to purchase junk vehicles. Investigators say he scrapped them for several years, which provided the appearance of a legitimate business for the purchase, transportation and sale of stolen catalytic converters.

In the fall of 2019, another company in Mountain Home, Arkansas, had asked Marshall to buy catalytic converters from the Springfield area and sell them to their company. The indictment alleges that Marshall began to buy stolen catalytic converters from co-conspirators, selling those to the Mountain Home company, in addition to the ones he acquired from junk vehicles.

Investigators estimate that the Mountain Home company, from Dec. 2019 to Oct. 2021, purchased tens of thousands of catalytic converters and paid Marshall more than $6.8 million.

During that time, that company would regularly receive 800-1,200 catalytic converters every two to three weeks from Marshall, several of which were determined to be stolen. Investigators say that businesses from Cherry Valley, Arkansas, and Farmington, Missouri, were later involved in purchasing some of these stolen catalytic converters that were initially sold to the Mountain Home company.

Prior to Marshall’s arrest, bank records show he withdrew $6.4 million from his personal bank account, money which he withdrew on various dates and used to purchase future stolen catalytic converters. The indictment says he also paid out thousands to Davis, Ryder and others who assisted with acquiring stolen catalytic converters.

In July 2021, Marshall allegedly purchased stolen catalytic converters from an undercover agent and paid around $1,000. Authorities obtained a search warrant in mid-October, which led to law enforcement recovering 67 firearms and $125,000 at Marshall’s home.

Investigators say Marshall learned of impending law enforcement action on Oct. 14, moving nearly 200 catalytic converters that night to another home. He was taken into federal custody one day later.

“A scourge of catalytic converter thefts on a breathtaking scale had a significant impact on the Springfield community over the past two years,” said U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. “Not only were numerous individual car owners victimized, but several non-profit organizations and churches were also victimized. We worked closely with our law enforcement partners to shut down this criminal conspiracy and bring those responsible to justice.”

“The Springfield Police Department is pleased to see the end result of a two-year investigation into a series of crimes that has touched every aspect of our community,” said Chief Paul Williams. “Our citizens have not only suffered the inconvenience of all things associated with being a victim of these crimes, but also suffered significant financial losses. The dedicated professionals who worked tirelessly on behalf of the many citizens and organizations impacted by the theft of catalytic converters are to be commended.”

Williams says, during months with high numbers of reported catalytic converter thefts in Springfield, Marshall’s bank records would reflect large financial transactions. During months with lower numbers of thefts, records showed lower amounts of money were moved.

Marshall is currently being held without bond on charges of conspiracy to transport stolen catalytic converters across state lines, interstate transportation of stolen property and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Six others indicted in the theft ring face at least one charge of conspiracy to transport stolen catalytic converters across state lines. Davis faces an additional charge of interstate transportation of stolen property. Each one could be sentenced between 5-10 years based on the charges, according to the indictment.

None of the companies involved with the purchase of catalytic converters have been charged in the investigation, but the district attorney says there could possibly be more charges and additional defendants.

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