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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


DECEMBER 6, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


TEN METRO AREA RESIDENTS INDICTED FOR STOLEN VEHICLE, CHOP SHOP CONSPIRACY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that 10 residents of the Kansas City metropolitan area have been indicted by a federal grand jury for participating in a conspiracy to steal a number of vehicles, which were disassembled at several chop shops and the parts sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.


             Darin L. Yohe, 39, Hayden Wells, 33, Angela E. Comer, 36, and Donald L. Buttman, Jr., 34, all of Kansas City, Mo., Timothy W. Holloway, 39, John T. Sloan, 46, and Brandy Fouts, 24, all of Independence, Mo., Harley Harvey, 39, of Blue Springs, Mo., David L. Reiff, 42, of Raytown and Sean C. Dale, 34, were charged in a 12-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several defendants.


            The federal indictment alleges that all of the co-defendants were involved in a conspiracy to transport and sell stolen vehicles and stolen vehicle parts across state lines from March 13, 2004, to Aug. 26, 2007. According to the indictment, Yohe, Dale, Reiff, Buttman, Harvey, Wells and Holloway stole trucks, cars, trailers, construction equipment and motorcycles and transported them across state lines for the purpose of “chopping” the vehicles up and selling the parts or trading them for illegal drugs. Comer, Sloan and Fouts, the indictment alleges, were primarily involved in storing, disposing of, and selling stolen vehicles and stolen vehicle parts.


            According to the indictment, conspirators operated four chop shops at the following locations: Don’s Mobile Welding (which is owned by Buttman’s father), 6700 E. 40 Hwy. in Kansas City, Mo.; at Action Radiator, 702 Cheyenne Ave. in Kansas City, Kan.; at an undisclosed location in Kansas City, Kan.; and at Harvey’s residence in Blue Springs. The indictment says an entire vehicle could be chopped by one person in six to seven hours and its parts sold for between $22,000 and $25,000.


            Yohe and Comer (Yohe’s live-in girlfriend) allegedly acquired stolen vehicle parts and other stolen goods, which they sold on eBay for a profit.


            The federal indictment cites the theft of two skid loaders that were stolen from Kansas and transported to Harvey’s residence in Blue Springs; 18 pickup trucks stolen from various dealerships in Missouri and Kansas and elsewhere and from a police impound lot; a 2007 BMW 328i that Dale stole from a dealership in Paducah, Ky., and drove back to Kansas City, Mo.; and a 1992 Honda Prelude that Yohe stole from an unidentified location in Jefferson County, Kan.


            Among those stolen vehicles, the indictment says, is a 2004 Ford F350 pickup truck that Yohe and Dale stole from the Olathe Police Department’s impound lot on Feb. 4 or 5, 2007. The truck was allegedly stored at the chop shop in Kansas City, Kan.


            Also among those stolen vehicles, the indictment says, is a 2008 Ford F250 Sport extended cab diesel 4x4 that was stolen by Dale and Yohe from Rob Sight Ford in Martin City, Mo., between Feb. 10 and 12, 2007. Dale allegedly drove the truck to Action Radiator, where it was chopped up. The indictment alleges that Dale used a 2007 Ford F250 Harley Davidson crew-cab 4x4 short-bed truck that was stolen from Shawnee Mission Ford between Feb. 17 and 19, 2007, to pull a trailer with stolen parts on it to Elite Diesel in Pueblo, Colo. Dale allegedly sold the frame, motor, transmission and axles from the stolen Ford F250 Sport to Elite Diesel for $10,000.


            Sloan, who was co-manager of the Lock Box storage units at 8408 S.W. State Hwy. 7 in Blue Springs, along with Yohe, Dale, Wells, and Holloway, stored stolen vehicle parts at a Lock Box storage unit (without completing the appropriate rental paperwork), as well as at other locations in Missouri and Kansas. Yohe, Dale, Wells and Fouts (Well’s live-in girlfriend) also stored stolen vehicle parts at Wells’ residence.


            In addition to the conspiracy charge, the federal indictment charges Harvey with two counts of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines, related to the thefts of two skid loaders (allegedly stored at his residence) in October and December 2005. Dale is also charged with two counts of transporting a stolen vehicle across state lines, related to the thefts of a 2007 Ford F250 pickup truck in February 2007 and a 2007 BMW 328i in March or April 2007.


            The indictment also charges several co-defendants in four counts of aiding and abetting each other to transport a stolen vehicle across state lines, related to the thefts of a 1986 Ford F350 pickup truck, a 2002 Ford F250 pickup truck, a 2004 Dodge Ram 350 pickup truck and a 2008 Ford F250 pickup truck between December 2006 and February 2007. Yohe and Dale are each charged in three of those counts; Reiff is charged in two of those counts; Holloway, Buttman, Harvey and Wells are each charged in one of those counts.


            Yohe, Dale and Sloan are also charged with one count of selling a stolen 2007 Ford F250 pickup truck between Dec. 16, 2006, and Jan. 22, 2007.


            Buttman and Harvey are also charged with one count of transporting stolen property, related to the theft of an ACT 40-foot trailer valued at $39,480 between Jan. 27 and Feb. 9, 2007.


            Yohe and Wells are also charged with aiding and abetting each other to operate a chop shop at Wells’ residence. The indictment alleges that, on Jan. 7, 2006, they disassembled a stolen 1992 Honda Prelude and later sold the parts.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Pansing Brown. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Jackson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and members of the MOKAN Theft Task Force.



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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html