Missouri man pleads guilty in catalytic converter thefts

June 16, 2022 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man pleaded guilty Thursday to participating in a scheme that transported tens of thousands of stolen catalytic converters across state lines as part of a multi-million business.

Federal prosecutors said Evan Marshall, 24, of Rogersville, pleaded guilty to transporting stolen property across state lines.

Marshall becomes the sixth of seven people indicted in the conspiracy to plead guilty. The five others who have pleaded from Springfield or Rogersville.

Theft of the emission control devices has skyrocketed across the country because they contain valuable precious metals.

Marshall admitted that he sold stolen catalytic converters, valued at $1 million or more, to a business in Mountain Home, Arkansas, from December 2019 to October 2021.

Federal prosecutors said the Arkansas company provided Marshall with hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, which he used to recruit his co-defendants to buy or steal catalytic converters.

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He also purchased some of the devices directly from thieves, prosecutors said.

Under federal statutes, Marshall faces a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Each of the other defendants is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole.