The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 9, 2013

Everton man faces four-count indictment in federal court

— A federal grand jury indicted an Everton man Wednesday for allegedly laundering proceeds from sales of stolen cooking oil and being a felon in possession of firearms.

John Arnold, 61, was charged in a four-count indictment handed up in U.S. District Court in Springfield based on information developed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Three of the counts concern alleged laundering of $237,036 in proceeds from sales of stolen cooking oil to recyclers from May 2010 through August 2011. The cooking oil was stolen from restaurants, and the proceeds were used to purchase several vehicles, according to the indictment.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri said in a news release that restaurants use contractors to remove their cooking oil waste, and Arnold operated a spent cooking oil business. He allegedly would buy oil from drivers who had stolen it from restaurants and then would sell it to recyclers. The indictment alleges that he used $85,500 of the proceeds to purchase three pickup trucks.

The indictment alleges that Arnold was in possession of five firearms on Dec. 3 of last year despite having previous felony convictions. Under related forfeiture allegations, the defendant may be required to surrender to the government one of the pickup trucks in question, $90,000 in cash, all five firearms and 156 rounds of ammunition.