FROM STAFF REPORTS

A Cleveland man is charged with conspiracy to commit felony larceny in connection a string of thefts of motor vehicle parts following an investigation by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

Coty Speight

Sheriff Darren Campbell announced the arrest of Coty Sherrill Speight, 39, in a news release Thursday. Speight was issued a $5,000 secured bond by Magistrate Sanders after he was taken into custody on Friday, September 4.

ICSO criminal investigators have been investigating numerous thefts of catalytic converters which took place from late 2019 through early 2020, Campbell said.

Several suspects were arrested stemming from those investigations.

Investigators determined Speight had purchased a number of those stolen catalytic converters, and conspired with others to steal converters in Iredell and surrounding counties, Campbell said.

In an effort to combat the growing theft of catalytic converters, the purchaser of any detached catalytic converter is required by state law to obtain a license to purchase these regulated metals, as well as maintain records that include the name, address, a photocopy or electronic scan of an unexpired state or federal identification card, the amount of consideration paid, a photograph or video of the seller alongside the with the regulated metals, and alongside the seller’s signature a clear impression of the index finger. The records must be retained for a period of no less than two years.

Furthermore, state law prohibits the purchase of detached catalytic converters, except from a company, contractor, or individual that is in the business of installing, replacing maintaining, or removing these items.

Speight’s illegal purchases of detached catalytic converters was instrumental in the thefts of catalytic converters, and provided a means for suspects to obtain cash for stolen goods, Campbell said.

During the course of this investigation, Speight was found to have attempted to purchase a firearm and was also charged with this crime in August of 2020. He received a $10,000 bond for this charge.

According to the ICSO, Speight’s criminal history includes the following charges: Convicted in U.S. District Court for Possessing one or more Firearms and affecting commerce by a Convicted Felon, Misdemeanor Shoplifting, two counts of Misdemeanor Larceny, Misdemeanor Breaking or Entering, Misdemeanor Unsealed Wine or Liquor in a Passenger area of a Vehicle, Driving after Consuming Alcohol, DWI Level 5, Misdemeanor Possession of Alcohol under 21 Years of Age, Misdemeanor Second Degree Trespassing, Seven Counts of Driving While License Revoked, Felony Receive Goods Represented to be Stolen, and Felony Attempt to Traffic Heroin or Opium.

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