California Man Receives 10 Year Sentence Following Guilty Plea in South Carolina to Fraud Conspiracy
ST. LOUIS – A man from East St. Louis on Tuesday admitted stealing 39 catalytic converters from trucks and vans around the St. Louis area.
Matthew Jennings, 31, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel to one felony count of conspiracy to transport and sell stolen goods. He admitted that beginning in December of 2019, he and his co-defendant, D’Ante Carter, stole catalytic converters from vehicles in the St. Louis area and sold them for scrap.
Jennings admitted stealing a total of 39 catalytic converters and trying to steal three more, primarily from pickup trucks and vans parked overnight at landscaping companies, other commercial businesses and an organization that helps those with disabilities.
Carter acted as lookout and Jennings used a reciprocating saw to cut the converters, which contain trace amounts of precious metals, free from the vehicles. The men then sold the converters to a recycling company in Illinois, their plea agreements say.
Jennings is scheduled to be sentenced February 10. The charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
Carter, 38, of Florissant, was sentenced to nine months in prison in September and ordered to pay $46,001 in restitution to victims. He also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.
The FBI and the St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Creve Coeur, Bridgeton, Maryland Heights, O’Fallon, Missouri and Webster Groves police departments investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ware prosecuted the case.