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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 14, 2022

Kentucky Men Indicted For Conspiracy To Steal And Transport 30 Catalytic Converters Recovered In State College

WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on March 10, 2022, Jose William Perez Felipe, age 25, and Wilber Sori San Miguel age 31, both of Louisville, Kentucky, were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to transport 30 stolen catalytic converters from Kentucky and Ohio to State College, Pennsylvania.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, the indictment alleges that between November 29, 2021 and December 2, 2021, Perez Felipe and San Miguel unlawfully agreed to transport stolen catalytic converters from Kentucky to New York, where the valuable metals contained inside them, including rhodium, palladium, and platinum, were to be extracted.

During a stop in Ohio, they received additional stolen catalytic converters.  According to the indictment, they also stopped in State College, where they stole six additional catalytic converters from Penn State University vans parked in a campus parking garage and from box trucks at two businesses in State College. The indictment also alleges that they used a reciprocating saw to cut the converters from the vehicles. The defendants were found sleeping inside a green Ford van parked in the PSU garage and the van contained approximately 30 stolen catalytic converters.  The indictment alleges that the 30 stolen catalytic converters recovered from the van had a value of approximately $90,000.       

The case was investigated by the FBI, the State College Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State University Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney George J. Rocktashel is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, the maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is 20 years in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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Updated March 14, 2022