Three Kansas City, Mo., area men have been convicted in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to steal nearly $1 million worth of trucks and trailers and their cargo, for the use of their own trucking operations and for others.
Kenneth Ray Borders of Kansas City, Mo., Jon Dirk Dickerson of Raytown, Mo. and his son, Kyle Wayne Dickerson of Holden, Mo., were found guilty of the charges contained in a Dec. 14, 2012, federal indictment. The jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated over a three-day period before returning the verdicts, ending a trial that began Feb. 18.
The three were taken into federal custody immediately after the jury returned the verdicts.
Evidence presented during the trial indicated that all three of the co-defendants participated in a conspiracy that involved the theft of commercial trucks and trailers and their cargo in Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Missouri. They worked together to steal trucks, trailers, and cargo and then dispose of them. Sometimes they used the trucks and trailers themselves to make money by hauling loads for customers and sometimes they sold the stolen trucks and trailers.
The conspiracy involved the thefts of five Freightliner trucks and 17 trailers between 2005 and 2011, including refrigerated trailers containing such cargo as tens of thousands of pounds of meat, chicken and sausage, along with dry van trailers containing beer and Nike shoes.
Prosecutors say stolen cargo was sold cheaply to anyone who would buy it, including to Myron Piggie of Kansas City, Mo., who earlier pleaded guilty to possessing stolen property. Piggie admitted that he accepted stolen beer and agreed to sell the beer at his convenience store and split the profits with conspirators. However, he learned that the police were aware he had the stolen beer, so instead he gave it all away, selling little or none of it.
Borders was involved in stealing the trucks, trailers, and cargo. He sold the cargo to others to resell, sometimes fronting the money by allowing his “customer” to pay him after they sold the product. Borders used some of the stolen trucks and trailers himself to make money by delivering cargo.
Jon Dickerson often had the first right to purchase stolen trucks and trailers. In fact, Borders actually had a “shopping list” from Dickerson listing the trucks and trailers that he wanted, so Borders could keep an eye out for them and steal them if the opportunity presented itself.
Jon Dickerson and his son, Kyle Dickerson, also were involved in stealing trucks and trailers. They used them in their own trucking business, sometimes just for replacement parts with the remains sold for scrap. Kyle Dickerson had the tools, ability, and willingness to disguise the stolen nature of the trucks and trailers by altering their Vehicle Identification Numbers so that they could be used in their trucking business without alerting authorities when they were stopped or inspected.
The Dickersons reduced their costs of doing business by stealing trucks and trailers themselves, or by buying stolen trucks and trailers from Borders, at a fraction of their fair market value. Since they had little financial investment in the stolen trucks and trailers, and knew that they had a readily available and cheap supply of stolen trucks and trailers, they had little incentive to maintain and repair their fleet. As a result, their fleet wore out and had safety issues, such as problems with brakes and tires. When their fleet wore out, they simply replaced them with more stolen trucks and trailers.
The Dickersons did not bother to maintain and repair their trucks and trailers but continued to operate them in interstate commerce. As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other law enforcement repeatedly cited their company and drivers for failing inspections and violating regulations. The company's compliance reviews led to unsatisfactory safety ratings, which led to a total of $450,000 in fines and numerous out of service orders. However, the Dickersons just ignored the orders and the fines and continued operating as a “chameleon carrier,” getting new hauling authority under a new name.
Co-defendants Christopher Dwight Turner, 45, and Michael O’Neal Foster, 55, both of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods. Turner admitted that he received approximately $386,932 worth of stolen meat. Foster admitted that he received a stolen Freightliner Classic XL truck, which he and others drove out of Missouri to both California and Indiana.
In two separate, but related, cases, Jaccard Fears, of Raymore, Mo. and Roy Lynn Parvin, of Kansas City, Mo., have also pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Fears was employed by the trucking businesses operated by the co-conspirators. He was paid by Borders and Foster to remove emblems, decals, and other ownership information from stolen trucks and replace them with emblems depicting they were owned by Kembeh Trucking (Foster's company) and others. Parvin admitted that he purchased multiple loads of stolen property from Borders and Turner, including stolen meat, dog food, and appliances totaling more than $6,000. Parvin was also in possession of beef stolen in Nebraska and sausage stolen in Kansas.
In addition to the conspiracy, Borders was found guilty of four counts of aiding and abetting the possession of stolen goods, one count of aiding and abetting the transportation of stolen goods and one count of aiding and abetting the possession of stolen vehicles.
Jon Dickerson was also found guilty of three counts of aiding and abetting the possession of stolen goods and one count of aiding and abetting the possession of stolen vehicles.
Kyle Dickerson was also found guilty of one count of aiding and abetting the transportation of stolen vehicles, two counts of aiding and abetting the possession of stolen goods and one count of aiding and abetting the possession of stolen vehicles.
Under federal statutes, Borders is subject to a sentence of up to 65 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1.75 million. Jon and Kyle Dickerson are each subject to a sentence of up to 45 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1.25 million.
The United States Probation Office will schedule sentencing hearings after the completion of pre-sentence investigations. The court will determine forfeiture amounts at a later date.