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
SEPTEMBER 3, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO KC MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO $1 MILLION
STOLEN VEHICLE, CHOP SHOP CONSPIRACY
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that two Kansas City, Mo., men pleaded guilty in federal court today to their roles 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, and Sean C. Dale, 34, pleaded guilty in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner this morning to the charges contained in a Dec. 4, 2007, federal indictment.
Yohe and Dale each admitted that they 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. Conspirators stole more than 50 trucks, cars, trailers, construction equipment and motorcycles valued at over $1 million and transported them across state lines for the purpose of “chopping” the vehicles up and selling the parts or trading them for illegal drugs. They operated several chop shops in Missouri and Kansas, where the vehicles were taken after they were stolen. Members of the conspiracy sold the vehicle parts to local customers and to out-of-state customers on eBay.
Approximately 11 of the vehicles were transported across state lines. The other vehicles were taken to chop shops in the same state. The various chop shops were located at the following addresses: Don’s Mobile Welding in Kansas City, Mo., 5139 Booth in Kansas City, Mo., 607 S.W. State Highway 7 in Blue Springs, Action Radiator in Kansas City, Kan., and 8402 Cernech Rd. In Kansas City, Kan.
In addition to the conspiracy, Yohe and Dale each pleaded guilty to the sale or receipt of stolen vehicles. Yohe also pleaded guilty to transporting a stolen vehicle.
Dale admitted that he stole a 2007 Ford F250 extended cab 4x4 diesel truck from a dealership in Colorado Springs, Colo., in February 2007. Dale drove the stolen truck to Kansas City, Mo., to Oklahoma City, Okla., and through several other states, ultimately ending up in Bullhead City, Ariz.
Co-defendant Donald L. Buttman, Jr., 35, of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty on July 31, 2008, to his role in the conspiracy. On Jan. 28, 2007, a 2004 Dodge Ram 3500 was stolen from Lenexa, Kan., and stored in Blue Springs. 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.
By pleading guilty today, Yohe also agreed to pay $275,000 in restitution and Dale agreed to pay $1,057,055 in restitution.
Under federal statutes, Yohe is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $750,000. Dale is subject to a sentence of up to 15 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
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