Three men who were “ringleaders” in a large-scale catalytic converter theft scheme have been sentenced in federal court.
According to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Missouri residents Evan Marshall, 25, of Rogersville; Cody Ryder, 31, of Springfield; and Camren Joseph Davis, 25, of Rogersville, were sentenced on December 19, 2022, by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool.
“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 multimillion-dollar operation and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
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.
Marshall was sentenced to five years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Ryder was sentenced to two years and five months in federal prison without parole. Davis was sentenced to five years of probation.
HSI says that Marshall admitted to stolen catalytic converters valued at $1 million or more across state lines from December 2019 to October 2021. Authorities say that Marshall also admitted to purchasing tens of thousands of stolen catalytic converters directly from his co-defendants and other thieves and sold the stolen catalytic converters for approximately $1 million.
“Our community is painfully aware that catalytic converter thefts are not victimless crimes,” said Josh Armstrong, acting special agent in charge of HSI Kansas City. “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.”
HSI detailed the catalytic converter theft scheme:
“Marshall began selling the catalytic converters to a company in Mountain Home, Arkansas, in the fall of 2019. At that time, Marshall purchased junk vehicles and sold their parts, including catalytic converters. In fall 2019, the owners of the Mountain Home company asked Marshall if he would begin purchasing catalytic converters in southwest Missouri and sell exclusively to them. Marshall agreed; in return, they regularly provided Marshall with cash 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 stopped buying junk vehicles and scrapping them out for parts, instead purchasing already-detached catalytic converters from scrap yards and individual sellers.
By January 2020, the Mountain Home company’s owners were wiring Marshall hundreds of thousands of dollars monthly so he could purchase a higher volume of detached catalytic converters.
By December 2019, Marshall enlisted Davis to work for him and another company, which Marshall also established in December 2019. Davis’ job was to purchase catalytic converters using cash that Marshall provided him. During that time, 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 to Marshall. On at least one occasion, Marshall provided Davis with $40,000 in cash for the purchase of catalytic converters.
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.
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.
Marshall knew that many of the catalytic converters that Davis and Ryder purchased were stolen. He paid them an agreed-upon percentage amount, over their purchase price and less the amount of cash he gave them to purchase the parts.
From December 2019 through October 2021, in addition to utilizing Davis and Ryder as buyers, Marshall also purchased stolen catalytic converters directly from thieves. In July 2020, a Springfield police detective contacted Marshall regarding purchases from known thieves. Despite being put on notice that he was purchasing stolen catalytic converters, Marshall continued to purchase them from at least one of the individuals the detective identified.
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 the catalytic converters, including those that were stolen, to the Mountain Home business’ owners.
Marshall, Davis, Ryder, and others loaded the catalytic converters into bins placed on trailers at Marshall’s residence. They hauled the trailers, which each contained between 800 and 1,200 catalytic converters, from Rogersville to Mountain Home. Marshall transported catalytic converters from Rogersville to Mountain Home approximately every two weeks from December 2019 through October 2021.”
In addition to the prison sentence, the court issued a $750,000 judgment against Marshall to be forfeited to the government and ordered Marshall to pay $19,133 in restitution to victims of the conspiracy law enforcement were able to identif. He was also ordered to forfeit to the government 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 Dodge Ram 3500 one-ton pickup truck
- A 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck, 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 fifth-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
- 191 catalytic converters