Bundy Ranch Nevada Standoff Charges

Each defendant faces 16 criminal counts: 

CLIVEN D. BUNDY, 71, Represented by defense lawyer Bret O. Whipple of Nevada

AMMON E. BUNDY, 42, of EMMET, IDAHO, Represented by Nevada lawyer Daniel Hill and Utah lawyer J. Morgan Philpot

RYAN C. BUNDY, 45, of CEDAR CITY, UTAH, Representing himself with standby lawyer Maysoun Fletcher of Nevada

RYAN W. PAYNE, 34, of Anaconda, Montana, Represented by assistant federal public defenders Brenda Weksler and Ryan Norwood of the Nevada Federal Public Defenders Office

  1. Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, between March 2014 and March 2016 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/371

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

If, however, the offense, the commission of which is the object of the conspiracy, is a misdemeanor only, the punishment for such conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum punishment provided for such misdemeanor.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 701Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2147.)
Historical and Revision NotesBased on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§ 88, 294 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, § 37, 35 Stat. 1096; Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, § 178a, as added Sept. 27, 1944, ch. 425, 58 Stat. 752).

This section consolidates said sections 88 and 294 of title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed.

To reflect the construction placed upon said section 88 by the courts the words “or any agency thereof” were inserted. (See Haas v. Henkel, 1909, 30 S. Ct. 249, 216 U. S. 462, 54 L. Ed. 569, 17 Ann. Cas. 1112, where court said: “The statute is broad enough in its terms to include any conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing, or defeating the lawful functions of any department of government.” Also, see United States v. Walter, 1923, 44 S. Ct. 10, 263 U. S. 15, 68 L. Ed. 137, and definitions of department and agency in section 6 of this title.)

The punishment provision is completely rewritten to increase the penalty from 2 years to 5 years except where the object of the conspiracy is a misdemeanor. If the object is a misdemeanor, the maximum imprisonment for a conspiracy to commit that offense, under the revised section, cannot exceed 1 year.

The injustice of permitting a felony punishment on conviction for conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor is described by the late Hon. Grover M. Moscowitz, United States district judge for the eastern district of New York, in an address delivered March 14, 1944, before the section on Federal Practice of the New York Bar Association, reported in 3 Federal Rules Decisions, pages 380–392.

Hon. John Paul, United States district judge for the western district of Virginia, in a letter addressed to Congressman Eugene J. Keogh dated January 27, 1944, stresses the inadequacy of the 2-year sentence prescribed by existing law in cases where the object of the conspiracy is the commission of a very serious offense.

The punishment provision of said section 294 of title 18 was considered for inclusion in this revised section. It provided the same penalties for conspiracy to violate the provisions of certain counterfeiting laws, as are applicable in the case of conviction for the specific violations. Such a punishment would seem as desirable for all conspiracies as for such offenses as counterfeiting and transporting stolen property in interstate commerce.

A multiplicity of unnecessary enactments inevitably leads to confusion and disregard of law. (See reviser’s note under section 493 of this title.)

Since consolidation was highly desirable and because of the strong objections of prosecutors to the general application of the punishment provision of said section 294, the revised section represents the best compromise that could be devised between sharply conflicting views.

A number of special conspiracy provisions, relating to specific offenses, which were contained in various sections incorporated in this title, were omitted because adequately covered by this section. A few exceptions were made, (1) where the conspiracy would constitute the only offense, or (2) where the punishment provided in this section would not be commensurate with the gravity of the offense. Special conspiracy provisions were retained in sections 241286372757794956120122712384 and 2388 of this title. Special conspiracy provisions were added to sections 2153 and 2154 of this title.

Amendments1994—Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $10,000”.

2) Conspiracy to impede or injure a federal, between March 2014 and March 2016officer https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2011-title18/USCODE-2011-title18-partI-chap19-sec372

§372. Conspiracy to impede or injure officer

If two or more persons in any State, Territory, Possession, or District conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties, each of such persons shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six years, or both.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 701; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title IV, §4002(d)(1)(D), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1809.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §54 (Mar. 4, 1909, ch. 321, §21, 35 Stat. 1092).

Scope of section was enlarged to cover all possessions of the United States. When the section was first enacted in 1861 there were no possessions, and hence the use of the words “State or Territory” was sufficient to describe the area then subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The word “District” was inserted by the codifiers of the 1909 Criminal Code.

Amendments

2002—Pub. L. 107–273 substituted “under this title” for “not more than $5,000”.

3) Using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence and aiding and abetting, 3 counts http://www3.ce9.uscourts.gov/jury-instructions/node/367

5.1 AIDING AND ABETTING

A defendant may be found guilty of [specify crime charged], even if the defendant personally did not commit the act or acts constituting the crime but aided and abetted in its commission. To prove a defendant guilty of [specify crime charged] by aiding and abetting, the government must prove each of the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, [specify crime charged] was committed by someone;

Second, the defendant aided, counseled, commanded, induced or procured that person with respect to at least one element of [specify crime charged];

Third, the defendant acted with the intent to facilitate [specify crime charged]; and

Fourth, the defendant acted before the crime was completed.

It is not enough that the defendant merely associated with the person committing the crime, or unknowingly or unintentionally did things that were helpful to that person, or was present at the scene of the crime. The evidence must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted with the knowledge and intention of helping that person commit [specify crime charged].

A defendant acts with the intent to facilitate the crime when the defendant actively participates in a criminal venture with advance knowledge of the crime [and having acquired that knowledge when the defendant still had a realistic opportunity to withdraw from the crime].

The government is not required to prove precisely which defendant actually committed the crime and which defendant aided and abetted.

 

Comment

Use this instruction with an instruction on the elements of the underlying substantive crime.

The Supreme Court has stated that the federal aiding and abetting statute has two primary components : “a person is liable under § 2 if (and only if) he (1) takes an affirmative act in furtherance of that offense, (2) with the intent of facilitating the offense’s commission.” Rosemond v. United States,134 S. Ct. 1240, 1245 (2014). The defendant’s conduct need not facilitate each and every element of the crime; a defendant can be convicted as an aider and abettor even if the defendant’s conduct “relates to only one (or some) of a crime’s phases or elements.” Id. at 1246–47. The intent requirement is satisfied when a person actively participates in a criminal venture with advance knowledge of the circumstances constituting the elements of the charged offense. Id. at 1248–49; see also United States v. Goldtooth, 754 F.3d 763, 769 (9th Cir. 2014) (reversing defendants’ convictions for aiding and abetting robbery on Indian reservation because there was no evidence that defendants had foreknowledge that robbery was to occur).

In Rosemond, the defendant was charged with aiding and abetting the crime of using a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The Supreme Court held that the government need not necessarily prove that the defendant took action with respect to any firearm, so long as the government proves that the defendant facilitated another element—drug trafficking. Rosemond, 134 S. Ct. at 1247. It was necessary, however, that the government prove that the defendant had advance knowledge of the firearm. Id. at 1249–50. See Instruction 8.71 (Firearms—Using or Carrying in Commission of Crime of Violence or Drug Trafficking Crime).

If, as in Rosemond, there is an issue as to when the defendant learned of a particular circumstance that constitutes an element of the crime, the judge should further instruct the jury that the defendant must have learned of the circumstance at a time when the defendant still had a realistic opportunity to withdraw from the crime. See Rosemond, 134 S. Ct. at 1251–52 & n.10 (instruction telling jury to consider whether Rosemond “knew his cohort used a firearm” was erroneous because instruction “failed to convey that Rosemond had to have advance knowledge . . . that a confederate would be armed” such that “he c[ould] realistically walk away”).

Aiding and abetting is not a separate and distinct offense from the underlying substantive crime, but is a different theory of liability for the same offense. United States v. Garcia, 400 F.3d 816, 820 (9th Cir. 2005). An aiding and abetting instruction is proper even when the indictment does not specifically charge that theory of liability , because all indictments are read as implying that theory in each count. United States v. Vaandering, 50 F.3d 696, 702 (9th Cir. 1995); United States v. Armstrong, 909 F.2d 1238, 1241-42 (9th Cir. 1990); United States v. Jones, 678 F.2d 102, 104 (9th Cir. 1982). See also United States v. Gaskins,849 F.2d 454, 459 (9th Cir. 1988); United States v. Sayetsitty, 107 F.3d 1405, 1412 (9th Cir. 1997).

A violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2(b) occurs when an individual “puts in motion or . . . causes the commission of an indispensable element of the offense,” United States v. Ubaldo, 859 F.3d 690, 750 (9th Cir. 2017) (quoting United States v. Causey, 835 F.3d 1289, 1292 (9th Cir. 1987)).

A person may be convicted of aiding and abetting despite the prior acquittal of the principal. Standefer v. United States,447 U.S. 10, 20 (1980); United States v. Mejia-Mesa, 153 F.3d 925, 930 (9th Cir. 1998). Moreover, the principal need not be named or identified; it is necessary only that the offense was committed by somebody and that the defendant intentionally did an act to help in its commission. Mejia-Mesa, 153 F.3d at 930 (citing Feldstein v. United States, 429 F.2d 1092, 1095 (9th Cir. 1970)).

The defendant’s deliberate ignorance of the actions taken by another person who commits a crime is sufficient to satisfy the knowledge required for the offense of aiding and abetting that crime. United States v. Nosal, 844 F.3d 1024, 1039-40 (9th Cir. 2016) (approving an instruction that the defendant acted “knowingly” if he “was aware of a high probability that [other employees] had gained unauthorized access to a computer . . . or misappropriated trade secrets . . . without authorization . . . and deliberately avoided learning the truth.”). For a definition of “deliberate ignorance,” seeInstruction 5.7 (Deliberate Ignorance).

No specific unanimity instruction on the issue of who acted as principal or aider and abettor is necessary, id., nor does the jury need to reach unanimous agreement on the manner (e.g., “procured,” “aided,” “abetted,” “counseled,” “induced,” or “commanded”) by which the defendant provided assistance. United States v. Kim, 196 F.3d 1079, 1083 (9th Cir. 1999).

The last paragraph of this instruction has been expressly approved in Vaandering, 50 F.3d at 702. It may be unnecessary to give the last paragraph if there is no dispute as to the identity of the principal and the aider and abettor.

4) Assault on a federal officer and aiding and abetting, 2 counts (April 9 and 12, 2014) http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/aiding-and-abetting-accessory.html

A criminal charge of aiding and abetting or accessory can usually be brought against anyone who helps in the commission of a crime, though legal distinctions vary by state. A person charged with aiding and abetting or accessory is usually not present when the crime itself is committed, but he or she has knowledge of the crime before or after the fact, and may assist in its commission through advice, actions, or financial support. Depending on the degree of involvement, the offender’s participation in the crime may rise to the level of conspiracy.

For example, Andy draws a floor plan of a bank, knowing of Dan’s intention to rob it. After Dan commits the robbery, Alice agrees to let him store the stolen money at her house. Both Andy and Alice can be charged with aiding and abetting, or acting as accessories to the robbery.

How Are Aiding, Abetting, and Accessory Defined?

As with all crimes, the specific elements depend on the state where the crime takes place. In general, aiding refers to differing degrees of support and abetting involves encouragement. Accessory usually involves actions taken to protect the perpetrator after the crime is committed.

If you were to serve on a jury in a federal court, you would be instructed that the crime of aiding and abetting requires the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  1. A crime was committed;
  2. The accused aided, counseled, commanded, induced or procured the person committing the crime;
  3. The accused acted with the intent to facilitate the crime; and
  4. The accused acted before the crime was completed.

Similarly, you would be instructed that the crime of Accessory After The Fact requires proving that:

  1. The accused knew that a person committed a crime; and
  2. The accused assisted that person with the specific purpose or design to hinder or prevent that person’s apprehension, trial or punishment.

A failure to sufficiently prove any of these elements, or those that may apply under state law, means that you cannot be convicted for these crimes.

Is There A Way Out?

Even if you’ve aided and abetted someone before they commit a crime, your state may allow for a withdrawal defense to criminal charges against you. In essence, this means that you have stopped your support and encouragement for the crime before it has become unstoppable. However, this can be difficult to prove unless there is some clear evidence of repudiation (such as a communication to the perpetrator or a warning to the potential victim). Some jurisdictions may require an attempt to stop the crime from taking place by, for example, notifying law enforcement.

Even if your actions don’t clearly constitute withdrawal, efforts to remove yourself from a crime before it takes place can help to mitigate the punishments you might face. Depending on the situation, these efforts could even lead the government to use prosecutorial discretion and not charge you with a crime. This could happen where, for example, you’re facing threats to your safety by coming forward to report a pending crime.

Have an Attorney Review Your Case for Free

The fact that you weren’t there when the crime was committed isn’t enough to protect you from punishment. These accomplice crimes can be tricky and usually boil down to what you knew and when you knew it. If you have some knowledge of a crime before or after the fact, you should reach out to a criminal defense attorney who can review your case for free.

 

5) Threatening a federal law enforcement officer and aiding and abetting, 2 counts (April 11 and 12, 2014

18 U.S. Code § 115 – Influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a Federal official by threatening or injuring a family member

(a)

(1)Whoever—

(A)

assaults, kidnaps, or murders, or attempts or conspires to kidnap or murder, or threatens to assault, kidnap or murder a member of the immediate family of a United States official, a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement officer, or an official whose killing would be a crime under section 1114 of this title; or
(B)

threatens to assault, kidnap, or murder, a United States official, a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement officer, or an official whose killing would be a crime under such section,
with intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with such official, judge, or law enforcement officerwhile engaged in the performance of official duties, or with intent to retaliate against such official, judge, or law enforcement officer on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).
(2)

Whoever assaults, kidnaps, or murders, or attempts or conspires to kidnap or murder, or threatens to assault, kidnap, or murder, any person who formerly served as a person designated in paragraph (1), or a member of the immediate family of any person who formerly served as a person designated in paragraph (1), with intent to retaliate against such person on account of the performance of official duties during the term of service of such person, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).
(b)

(1)The punishment for an assault in violation of this section is—

(A)

a fine under this title; and
(B)

(i)

if the assault consists of a simple assault, a term of imprisonment for not more than 1 year;
(ii)

if the assault involved physical contact with the victim of that assault or the intent to commit another felony, a term of imprisonment for not more than 10 years;
(iii)

if the assault resulted in bodily injury, a term of imprisonment for not more than 20 years; or
(iv)

if the assault resulted in serious bodily injury (as that term is defined in section 1365 of this title, and including any conduct that, if the conduct occurred in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, would violate section 2241 or 2242 of this title) or a dangerous weapon was used during and in relation to the offense, a term of imprisonment for not more than 30 years.
(2)

kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, or conspiracy to kidnap in violation of this section shall be punished as provided in section 1201 of this title for the kidnapping or attempted kidnapping of, or a conspiracy to kidnap, a person described in section 1201(a)(5) of this title.
(3)

A murder, attempted murder, or conspiracy to murder in violation of this section shall be punished as provided in sections 11111113, and 1117 of this title.
(4)

A threat made in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine under this title or imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years, or both, except that imprisonment for a threatened assault shall not exceed 6 years.
(c)As used in this section, the term—

(1)

Federal law enforcement officer” means any officer, agent, or employee of the United States authorized by law or by a Government agency to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of Federal criminal law;
(2)immediate family member” of an individual means—

(A)

his spouse, parent, brother or sister, child or person to whom he stands in loco parentis; or
(B)

any other person living in his household and related to him by blood or marriage;
(3)

United States judge” means any judicial officer of the United States, and includes a justice of the Supreme Court and a United States magistrate judge; and
(4)

United States official” means the President, President-elect, Vice President, Vice President-elect, a Member of Congress, a member-elect of Congress, a member of the executive branch who is the head of a department listed in 5 U.S.C. 101, or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
(d)

This section shall not interfere with the investigative authority of the United States Secret Service, as provided under sections 3056871, and 879 of this title.
(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, § 1008(a), Oct. 12, 198498 Stat. 2140; amended Pub. L. 99–646, §§ 37(a), 60, Nov. 10, 1986100 Stat. 3599, 3613; Pub. L. 100–690, title VI, § 6487(f)[b], Nov. 18, 1988102 Stat. 4386Pub. L. 101–647, title XXXV, § 3508, Nov. 29, 1990104 Stat. 4922Pub. L. 101–650, title III, § 321, Dec. 1, 1990104 Stat. 5117Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, §§ 330016(2)(C), 330021(1), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2148, 2150; Pub. L. 104–132, title VII, §§ 723(a), 727(b), Apr. 24, 1996110 Stat. 1300, 1302; Pub. L. 107–273, div. B, title IV, § 4002(b)(9), div. C, title I, § 11008(c), Nov. 2, 2002116 Stat. 1808, 1818; Pub. L. 110–177, title II, § 208(a), Jan. 7, 2008121 Stat. 2538.)
Amendments2008—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 110–177 added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: “An assault in violation of this section shall be punished as provided in section 111 of this title.”

2002—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 107–273, § 4002(b)(9), substituted “or attempted kidnapping of, or a conspiracy to kidnap, a person” for “, attempted kidnapping, or conspiracy to kidnap of a person”.

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 107–273, § 11008(c), substituted “10” for “five” and “6” for “three”.

1996—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 104–132, § 723(a)(1), inserted “or conspires” after “attempts”.

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 104–132, § 727(b)(1), which directed insertion of “, or threatens to assault, kidnap, or murder, any person who formerly served as a person designated in paragraph (1), or” after “assaults, kidnaps, or murders, or attempts to kidnap or murder”, was executed by making the substitution after “assaults, kidnaps, or murders, or attempts or conspires to kidnap or murder” to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the amendment by Pub. L. 104–132, § 723(a)(1). See below.

Pub. L. 104–132, § 723(a)(1), inserted “or conspires” after “attempts”.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 104–132, § 723(a)(2), substituted “, attempted kidnapping, or conspiracy to kidnap” for “or attempted kidnapping” in two places.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 104–132, § 723(a)(3), substituted “, attempted murder, or conspiracy to murder” and “, 1113, and 1117” for “or attempted murder” and “and 1113”, respectively.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–132, § 727(b)(2), added subsec. (d).

1994—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 103–322, § 330021(1), substituted “kidnapping” for “kidnaping” in two places.

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 103–322, § 330016(2)(C), substituted “fine under this title” for “fine of not more than $5,000”.

1990—Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 101–647 substituted “the Central” for “The Central”.

1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–690 amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “Whoever assaults, kidnaps, or murders, or attempts to kidnap or murder, or threatens to assault, kidnap or murder a member of the immediate family of a United States official, a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement officer, or an official whose killing would be a crime under section 1114 of this title, or threatens to assault, kidnap, or murder, a United States official, a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement officer, or an official whose killing would be a crime under such section with intent to impede, intimidate, interfere with, or retaliate against such official, judge or law enforcement officer while engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).”

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–646, § 60, substituted “section 1114 of this title, or threatens to assault, kidnap, or murder, a United States official, a United States judge, a Federal law enforcement officer, or an official whose killing would be a crime under such section” for “18 U.S.C. 1114, as amended,”, “while engaged” for “while he is engaged”, and “official duties” for “his official duties”.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 99–646, § 37(a), inserted “for the kidnapping or attempted kidnapping of a person described in section 1201(a)(5) of this title”.

Change of NameReference to the Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Director’s capacity as the head of the intelligence community deemed to be a reference to the Director of National Intelligence. Reference to the Director of Central Intelligence or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the Director’s capacity as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency deemed to be a reference to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. See section 1081(a), (b) of Pub. L. 108–458, set out as a note under section 3001 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

United States magistrate judge” substituted for “United States magistrate” in subsec. (c)(3) pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

Transfer of FunctionsFor transfer of the functions, personnel, assets, and obligations of the United States Secret Service, including the functions of the Secretary of the Treasury relating thereto, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 381551(d)552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

 

6) Obstruction of the due administration of justice and aiding and abetting, 3 counts (April 6, 9 and 12, 2014) https://www.federalcharges.com/obstruction-of-justice-laws-charges

Obstruction Of Justice + Laws, Charges & Statute of Limitations

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Obstruction of justice is a crime that is different from the norm because it does not involve harm to a person or to property. It does, however, describe a huge range of crimes, but these are committed against justice administration. Statutes at both state and federal level cover these crimes, and laws have been in place against it for hundreds of years.

Obstruction of Justice Laws

Obstruction of justice is covered under chapter 73 of the U.S. Code Title 18. A number of articles are of particular relevance, with 1503 being the most common one. This dictates that those who use corrupt threats of force, or actual force against the due justice administration are guilty of such an offense. It essentially means that it is alleged that a person tried to interfere with the process of official duties, including destroying evidence.

To be convicted, prosecution must demonstrate three things:

1. There was a proceeding that could be obstructed.
2. There is a clear link between the defendant’s attempts to obstruct and the proceedings.
3. The defendant must have been aware of this link.

One of the most complex elements of obstruction of justice charges is that a defendant can always plead the Fifth Amendment. This is a constitutional right to not answer questions if the answer could demonstrate criminal liability.

Obstruction of Justice Crimes & Charges

Usually, obstruction of justice is committed by elected officials, attorneys general, prosecutors, and judges. It can be classed as nonfeasance, malfeasance, or misfeasance. However, the charge can also be brought against non-official individuals if it has been shown that they prevented justice to be served in either criminal or civil courts. This includes witness intimidation or retaliation, false testimony, falsifying evidence, interfering with court personnel, and more. The laws are in place to protect legal proceedings’ integrity, as well as to protect those taking part in the proceedings.

Obstruction of Justice Punishment

For those found guilty of obstruction of justice, their penalty will depend on the law under which they were convicted. Different states have different requirements, and federal charges can also be brought against the individual. As such, the crime can be anything from a misdemeanor to a penalty. Most of the time, punishment includes time in penitentiary and/or a fine. A maximum sentence of 20 years can be imposed.

Obstruction of Justice Sentencing Guidelines

Those who are found guilty of obstruction of justice can be sentenced up to 20 years in prison, if it is demonstrated that they knowingly engaged in obstruction. Prosecutors will have to be able to demonstrate that the accused engaged in an obstructive act, and that they were aware of the fact that this was an obstruction of the course of justice.

Obstruction of Justice Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for obstruction of justice usually starts from the date that the crime actually started. The exact statute of limitations will vary depending on the type of crime in which the obstruction took place. Usually, the statute is six years in state courts, and five years in federal courts, with the exception of crimes against children, sex offenses, certain violent crimes, and murder. In these cases, no statute of limitations exists. Additionally, the statute can be tolled if the defendant leaves the state.

Obstruction of Justice Cases

• Martha Stewart was accused and convicted of obstruction of justice because she was found to have made misleading and false statements to the SEC. She was convicted of this in 2004, as well as for lying to federal investigators. This means she didn’t just fail to assist the proceedings, she actually tried to lead federal investigators astray. (CNN)

• Richard Nixon had to resign from his presidency when he was investigated for obstruction of justice, which is known as the Watergate Scandal. Here, it was alleged that Nixon provided financial compensations to witnesses in return for them hiding the break-in at the Watergate. (Watergate)

• Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged and convicted of obstruction of justice, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing. Tsarnaev was accused of removing a number of items from the rooms of Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, the Boston Bombers, whose actions killed three people and injured a further 200. The backpack with items removed by Tsarnaev was eventually found on a landfill site. Another person in the case provided false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for which he was convicted.( FBI)

• I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby was a former vice-presidential advisor. In March 2007, he was convicted of obstruction of justice as he played a part in the leak to reporters that named Valerie Plame, a CIA agent. George W. Bush, who was president at the time, commuted his sentence, meaning that Scooter only paid the $250,000 fine. However, he did have to meet the terms of his probation and was recorded as a convicted felon. (NBC News)

• In 2007, Conrad Black was convicted of obstruction of justice. He removed 13 boxes of evidence, which contained financial records, from his Toronto office. This happened after a court order sealed the boxes. Black did return the boxes after a few days. CCTV images proved that Black had removed the boxes together with his assistant Joan Maida and his chauffeur John Hillier. (Heritage Institute)

Obstruction of Justice Quick Links & References

U.S. Legal – Obstruction of Justice
18 U.S. Code Chapter 73 – Obstruction of Justice 

7) Interfering with interstate commerce by extortion and aiding and abetting, 2 counts (April 2, 9 and 12, 2014)

18 U.S. Code § 1951 – Interference with commerce by threats or violence

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(a)

Whoever in any way or degree obstructs, delays, or affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce, by robbery or extortion or attempts or conspires so to do, or commits or threatens physical violence to any person or property in furtherance of a plan or purpose to do anything in violation of this section shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
(b)As used in this section—

(1)

The term “robbery” means the unlawful taking or obtaining of personal property from the person or in the presence of another, against his will, by means of actual or threatened force, or violence, or fear of injury, immediate or future, to his person or property, or property in his custody or possession, or the person or property of a relative or member of his family or of anyone in his company at the time of the taking or obtaining.
(2)

The term “extortion” means the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.
(3)

The term “commerce” means commerce within the District of Columbia, or any Territory or Possession of the United States; all commerce between any point in a State, Territory, Possession, or the District of Columbia and any point outside thereof; all commerce between points within the same State through any place outside such State; and all other commerce over which the United States has jurisdiction.
(c)

This section shall not be construed to repeal, modify or affect section 17 of Title 15, sections 52, 101–115, 151–166 of Title 29 or sections 151–188 of Title 45.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 793Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2147.)
Historical and Revision NotesBased on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§ 420a–420e–1 (June 18, 1934, ch. 569, §§ 1–6, 48 Stat. 979, 980; July 3, 1946, ch. 537, 60 Stat. 420).

Section consolidates sections 420a to 420e–1 of Title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., with changes in phraseology and arrangement necessary to effect consolidation.

Provisions designating offense as felony were omitted as unnecessary in view of definitive section 1 of this title. (See reviser’s note under section 550 of this title.)

Subsection (c) of the revised section is derived from title II of the 1946 amendment. It substitutes references to specific sections of the United States Code, 1940 ed., in place of references to numerous acts of Congress, in conformity to the style of the revision bill. Subsection (c) as rephrased will preclude any construction of implied repeal of the specified acts of Congress codified in the sections enumerated.

The words “attempts or conspires so to do” were substituted for sections 3 and 4 of the 1946 act, omitting as unnecessary the words “participates in an attempt” and the words “or acts in concert with another or with others”, in view of section 2 of this title which makes any person who participates in an unlawful enterprise or aids or assists the principal offender, or does anything towards the accomplishment of the crime, a principal himself.

Words “shall, upon conviction thereof,” were omitted as surplusage, since punishment cannot be imposed until a conviction is secured.

References in TextSections 101–115 of Title 29, referred to in subsec. (c), is a reference to act Mar. 23, 1932, ch. 90, 47 Stat. 70, popularly known as the Norris-LaGuardia Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 101 of Title 29, Labor, and Tables.

Section 11 of that act, formerly classified to section 111 of Title 29, was repealed and reenacted as section 3692 of this title by act June 25, 1948, ch. 645, § 21, 62 Stat. 862, eff. Sept. 1, 1948.

Section 12 of that act, formerly classified to section 112 of Title 29, was repealed by act June 25, 1948, and is covered by rule 42(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, set out in Appendix to this title.

Section 164 of Title 45, included within the reference in subsec. (c) to sections 151–188 of Title 45, was repealed by act Oct. 10, 1940, ch. 851, § 4, 54 Stat. 1111.

Section 186 of Title 45, included within the reference in subsec. (c) to sections 151–188 of Title 45, was omitted from the Code.

Amendments1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–322 substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $10,000”.

Short TitleThis section is popularly known as the “Hobbs Act”.

 

8) Interstate travel in aid of extortion and aiding and abetting, 2 counts (April 5 and April 12, 2014)  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1952

18 U.S. Code § 1952 – Interstate and foreign travel or transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises

(a)Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses the mail or any facility in interstate or foreign commerce, with intent to—

(1)

distribute the proceeds of any unlawful activity; or
(2)

commit any crime of violence to further any unlawful activity; or
(3)

otherwise promote, manage, establish, carry on, or facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, or carrying on, of any unlawful activity,
and thereafter performs or attempts to perform—
(A)

an act described in paragraph (1) or (3) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both; or
(B)

an act described in paragraph (2) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
(b)

As used in this section (i) “unlawful activity” means (1) any business enterprise involving gambling, liquor on which the Federal excise tax has not been paid, narcotics or controlled substances (as defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act), or prostitution offenses in violation of the laws of the State in which they are committed or of the United States, (2) extortion, bribery, or arson in violation of the laws of the State in which committed or of the United States, or (3) any act which is indictable under subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code, or under section 1956 or 1957 of this title and (ii) the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.
(c)

Investigations of violations under this section involving liquor shall be conducted under the supervision of the Attorney General.
(d)

If the offense under this section involves an act described in paragraph (1) or (3) of subsection (a) and also involves a pre-retail medical product (as defined in section 670), the punishment for the offense shall be the same as the punishment for an offense under section 670 unless the punishment under subsection (a) is greater.
(e)

(1)

This section shall not apply to a savings promotion raffle conducted by an insured depository institution or an insured credit union.
(2)In this subsection—

(A)

the term “insured credit union” shall have the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act (12 U.S.C. 1752);
(B)

the term “insured depository institution” shall have the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813); and
(C)

the term “savings promotion raffle” means a contest in which the sole consideration required for a chance of winning designated prizes is obtained by the deposit of a specified amount of money in a savings account or other savings program, where each ticket or entry has an equal chance of being drawn, such contest being subject to regulations that may from time to time be promulgated by the appropriate prudential regulator (as defined in section 1002 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (12 U.S.C. 5481)).
(Added Pub. L. 87–228, § 1(a), Sept. 13, 196175 Stat. 498; amended Pub. L. 89–68July 7, 196579 Stat. 212Pub. L. 91–513, title II, § 701(i)(2), Oct. 27, 197084 Stat. 1282Pub. L. 99–570, title I, § 1365(a), Oct. 27, 1986100 Stat. 3207–35Pub. L. 101–647, title XII, § 1205(i), title XVI, § 1604, Nov. 29, 1990104 Stat. 4831, 4843; Pub. L. 103–322, title XIV, § 140007(a), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2033, 2147; Pub. L. 107–296, title XI, § 1112(h), Nov. 25, 2002116 Stat. 2277Pub. L. 112–186, § 4(b)(1), Oct. 5, 2012126 Stat. 1429Pub. L. 113–251, § 5(1), Dec. 18, 2014128 Stat. 2890.)
References in TextSection 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(i)(1), is classified to section 802(6) of Title 21, Food and Drugs.

Amendments2014—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–251 added subsec. (e).

2012—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–186 added subsec. (d).

2002—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–296 substituted “Attorney General” for “Secretary of the Treasury”.

1994—Pub. L. 103–322, § 330016(1)(L), which directed the amendment of this section by substituting “under this title” for “not more than $10,000”, could not be executed because the phrase “not more than $10,000” did not appear in text subsequent to amendment of subsec. (a) by Pub. L. 103–322, § 140007(a). See below.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–322, § 140007(a), substituted “and thereafter performs or attempts to perform—” and subpars. (A) and (B) for former concluding provisions which read as follows: “and thereafter performs or attempts to perform any of the acts specified in subparagraphs (1), (2), and (3), shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.”

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–647, § 1604, inserted “the mail or” after “uses” and struck out “including the mail,” before “with intent” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–647, § 1205(i), inserted “(i)” after “As used in this section” and added cl. (ii).

1986—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 99–570 added cl. (3).

1970—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 91–513, § 701(i)(2)(A), inserted “or controlled substances (as defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act)”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 91–513, § 701(i)(2)(B), struck out reference to investigations involving narcotics.

1965—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 89–68 made section applicable to travel in aid of arson.

Effective Date of 2002 AmendmentAmendment by Pub. L. 107–296 effective 60 days after Nov. 25, 2002, see section 4 of Pub. L. 107–296, set out as an Effective Date note under section 101 of Title 6, Domestic Security.

Effective Date of 1970 AmendmentAmendment by Pub. L. 91–513 effective on first day of seventh calendar month that begins after Oct. 26, 1970, see section 704 of Pub. L. 91–513, set out as an Effective Date note under section 801 of Title 21, Food and Drugs.

Savings ProvisionAmendment by Pub. L. 91–513 not to affect or abate any prosecutions for any violation of law or any civil seizures or forfeitures and injunctive proceedings commenced prior to the effective date of such amendment, and all administrative proceedings pending before the former Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs on Oct. 27, 1970, were to be continued and brought to final determination in accord with laws and regulations in effect prior to Oct. 27, 1970, see section 702 of Pub. L. 91–513, set out as a Savings Provision note under section 321 of Title 21, Food and Drugs.

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