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
JULY 31, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KC MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO STOLEN VEHICLE,
CHOP SHOP CONSPIRACY
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role 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.
Donald L. Buttman, Jr., 35, of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner this morning to the charge contained in a Dec. 4, 2007, federal indictment.
Buttman admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to transport and sell stolen vehicles and stolen vehicle parts across state lines from March 13, 2004, to Aug. 26, 2007. Buttman and other conspirators 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.
On Jan. 28, 2007, a 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 was stolen from Lenexa, Kan., and stored in Blue Springs, Mo. Buttman stored the ATC 40-foot trailer, which was attached to the truck at the time it was stolen, at Don's Mobile Welding (which is owned by Buttman’s father). The value of the Dodge Ram 3500 was $35,000 and the value of the trailer was $39,480, for a total value of $74,480.
Under federal statutes, Buttman could be subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
By pleading guilty today, Buttman also agreed to pay $74,480 in restitution.
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.
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