Committing a Crime Using Interstate Commerce
According to United States federal law, the following applies to activities defined by breaking the law using interstate commerce or foreign travel:
- Distributing the proceeds of an unlawful activity.
- Committing a crime of violence in relation to any unlawful activity.
- Promote, establish, carry on, manage or facilitate promotion of any unlawful activity or business.
Unlawful activity refers to but is not limited to:
- Liquor distribution.
- Narcotics distribution.
Any non-violent crime may carry a prison term of up to five years and a serious or violent crime a term of up to twenty-five years in prison.
There is a long list of federal statutes that govern trafficking offenses across state lines, many pertaining to drugs and firearms. Congress created these laws as part of the Commerce Clause in our Constitution. Some of these statutes apply explicitly to particular actions that take place across state lines affecting interstate commerce. One such instance is the mail and wire fraud division, which governs certain offenses that might otherwise be deemed a state issue.
Another example is a specific code of the law that applies to interstate commerce used in relationship to murder-for-hire. It warns about anyone using interstate facilities, the mail system or foreign commerce for use in the conspiracy of hiring someone to murder another individual for money. The penalty for this use of interstate commerce is ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine and even more, if personal injury or murder results from actions taken.
This law is specific to include “anything of pecuniary value” meaning not just money, but if you hire someone to kill for you and offer them anything of value, then you are guilty of hiring for murder.
The term “facility of interstate or foreign commerce” refers to transpiration and communication among interstate lines.
U.S. laws can be very complicated and sometimes when laws cross boundaries this is known as “concurrent jurisdiction” meaning that some state and federal laws may overlap. Deciding who has the right to investigate and prosecute is then necessary.