Columbia woman pleads guilty to stealing catalytic converters as part of $1 million scheme

·2 min read
A catalytic converter can be seen at the end of the tube that starts in the upper-left-hand corner of this photo.
A catalytic converter can be seen at the end of the tube that starts in the upper-left-hand corner of this photo.

A Columbia woman admitted in federal court to playing a role in a coordinated scheme that involved the theft of catalytic converters valued at a total of at least $1 million.

Danielle Ice, 34, formerly of Springfield, pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to participating in a conspiracy to transport stolen property across state lines, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri said.

Ice could face up to five years in federal prison without parole. Her sentencing hearing will be scheduled after an investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

She is the last of seven defendants indicted in the case to plead guilty.

Ice’s husband and co-defendant Leslie Ice, 37, as well as co-defendants Cody Ryder, 31, Enx Khoshaba, 29, and Eric Kaltenbach, 37, all of Springfield, and Evan Marshall, 24, and Camren Joseph Davis, 25, of Rogersville, also have pleaded guilty.

Tens of thousands of catalytic converters were stolen and transported as part of the scheme, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Danielle Ice admitted she and Leslie Ice stole at least 50 catalytic converters and sold them directly to Marshall. Marshall paid Danielle and Leslie Ice approximately $20,000.

The Ices began stealing catalytic converters for Marshall in October 2020 and continued stealing and selling them to Marshall through at least March 2021, the statement reads. They photographed the converters while they were still attached to the victims’ vehicles and texted the photos to Marshall. Marshall determined whether they were valuable.

If Marshall responded that a catalytic converter was valuable, Leslie Ice removed the converter by cutting it from the vehicle’s exhaust system using a reciprocating saw, according to the statement. Leslie and Danielle Ice then sold the device to Marshall.

Marshall provided Leslie Ice with a list of vehicles with valuable catalytic converters.

At one point Marshall gave Danielle Ice $1,500 in cash to post bond for Leslie Ice in a state criminal case so that the couple could continue to steal catalytic converters and sell them to him, the statement reads.

Marshall admitted he transported stolen catalytic converters, valued at $1 million or more, across state lines from December 2019 to October 2021. Marshall said he bought tens of thousands of stolen converters from the co-defendants and other sources, selling them for a total of approximately $1 million.

This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Columbia woman pleads guilty for role in catalytic converters scheme