U.S Code last checked for updates: Apr 17, 2024
§ 659.
Interstate or foreign shipments by carrier; State prosecutions

Whoever embezzles, steals, or unlawfully takes, carries away, or conceals, or by fraud or deception obtains from any pipeline system, railroad car, wagon, motortruck, trailer, or other vehicle, or from any tank or storage facility, station, station house, platform or depot or from any steamboat, vessel, or wharf, or from any aircraft, air cargo container, air terminal, airport, aircraft terminal or air navigation facility, or from any intermodal container, trailer, container freight station, warehouse, or freight consolidation facility, with intent to convert to his own use any goods or chattels moving as or which are a part of or which constitute an interstate or foreign shipment of freight, express, or other property; or

Whoever buys or receives or has in his possession any such goods or chattels, knowing the same to have been embezzled or stolen; or

Whoever embezzles, steals, or unlawfully takes, carries away, or by fraud or deception obtains with intent to convert to his own use any baggage which shall have come into the possession of any common carrier for transportation in interstate or foreign commerce or breaks into, steals, takes, carries away, or conceals any of the contents of such baggage, or buys, receives, or has in his possession any such baggage or any article therefrom of whatever nature, knowing the same to have been embezzled or stolen; or

Whoever embezzles, steals, or unlawfully takes by any fraudulent device, scheme, or game, from any railroad car, bus, vehicle, steamboat, vessel, or aircraft operated by any common carrier moving in interstate or foreign commerce or from any passenger thereon any money, baggage, goods, or chattels, or whoever buys, receives, or has in his possession any such money, baggage, goods, or chattels, knowing the same to have been embezzled or stolen—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both, but if the amount or value of such money, baggage, goods, or chattels is less than $1,000, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 3 years, or both. If the offense involves a pre-retail medical product (as defined in section 670), it shall be punished under section 670 unless the penalties provided for under this section are greater.

The offense shall be deemed to have been committed not only in the district where the violation first occurred, but also in any district in which the defendant may have taken or been in possession of the said money, baggage, goods, or chattels.

The carrying or transporting of any such money, freight, express, baggage, goods, or chattels in interstate or foreign commerce, knowing the same to have been stolen, shall constitute a separate offense and subject the offender to the penalties under this section for unlawful taking, and the offense shall be deemed to have been committed in any district into which such money, freight, express, baggage, goods, or chattels shall have been removed or into which the same shall have been brought by such offender.

To establish the interstate or foreign commerce character of any shipment in any prosecution under this section the waybill or other shipping document of such shipment shall be prima facie evidence of the place from which and to which such shipment was made. For purposes of this section, goods and chattel shall be construed to be moving as an interstate or foreign shipment at all points between the point of origin and the final destination (as evidenced by the waybill or other shipping document of the shipment), regardless of any temporary stop while awaiting transshipment or otherwise. The removal of property from a pipeline system which extends interstate shall be prima facie evidence of the interstate character of the shipment of the property.

A judgment of conviction or acquittal on the merits under the laws of any State shall be a bar to any prosecution under this section for the same act or acts. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of Congress to occupy the field in which provisions of this section operate to the exclusion of State laws on the same subject matter, nor shall any provision of this section be construed as invalidating any provision of State law unless such provision is inconsistent with any of the purposes of this section or any provision thereof.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 729; May 24, 1949, ch. 139, § 13, 63 Stat. 91; Pub. L. 89–654, § 1(a)–(d), Oct. 14, 1966, 80 Stat. 904; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(H), (K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147; Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 606(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3511; Pub. L. 109–177, title III, § 307(a), Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 240; Pub. L. 112–186, § 4(a), Oct. 5, 2012, 126 Stat. 1428.)
cite as: 18 USC 659