LITTLE ROCK, Ark – A sixth defendant has now pled guilty in federal court to a multi-million-dollar scheme where stolen catalytic converters were taking across state lines in coordination with a Mountain Home business.
Evan Marshall, 24 of Rogersville, Missouri, pled guilty to one count of transporting stolen goods across state lines. He now joins six others Missouri men who have pled guilty in the matter.
Marshall’s plea acknowledged he moved catalytic converters worth over $1 million across state lines from December 2019 to December 2021. He also admitted that bought tens of thousands of converters from other men named in the case, which were later sold for over $1 million.
The scheme began in 2019 when Marshall was purchasing junk cars and selling the parts, which included catalytic converters. Late in the fall, the owners of the Mountain Home company asked Marshall if he would purchase converters in southwest Missouri and sell to them exclusively.
Marshall agreed, and the company sent him cash in advance for purchases, as well as a list of vehicles with high-value catalytic convertors. Ultimately, Marshall stopped buying salvage cars and began buying and selling catalytic converters from scrap yards and individuals.
By January of 2020 the Mountain Home company, its name not listed in the Department of Justice report, was wiring Marshall hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for catalytic converter purchases.
Marshall had established a second company and had a second man, 25-year-old Joseph Davis, to buy converters for him, an arrangement where hundreds of thousands of dollars changed hands, with a single transaction shown at $40,000.
Davis, who is also from Rogersville, was named in the indictment and previously pled guilty to charges, admitted to buying catalytic converters from thieves. Other men were later enlisted in the scheme, all of whom were named in the indictment.
At one point the Springfield Police Department cautioned Marshall that he was buying catalytic converters from thieves. This did not stop Marshall’s activity.
Every two weeks, from December 2019 to October 2021, Marshall was carrying the converters he had purchased to the Mountain Home company.
As part of his plea agreement, Marshall had to forfeit to the government: $125,651, 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 , all of which had been seized by law enforcement.
Marshall must also pay the government a money judgment in an amount to be determined by the court at sentencing. He is eligible for a prison sentence up to 10 years.
The Arkansas 93rd General Assembly updated the law for scrap metal dealers, requiring a high level of recording keeping for those who buy and sell catalytic converters, including a daily report of purchases by a scrap metal dealer. Reporting must include the sellers’ driver’s license number and the VIN of the car or truck from which the catalytic converter was removed. Violators face criminal charges up to a felony if they violate these laws.
The precious metal palladium, used to remove hydrocarbons, is integral to and what creates the value in catalytic converters. A converter from a high-end sports car can run over $3,000, with some heavy-duty pickup trucks in the $2,000 range. Various devices may be installed on a vehicle to discourage catalytic converter theft.