Statute of Limitations for Conspiracy
Conspiracy is a continuing offense. For statutes such as 18 U.S.C.
§ 371, which require an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, the
statute of limitations begins to run on the date of the last overt act.
See Fiswick v. United States, 329 U.S. 211 (1946); United
v. Butler, 792 F.2d 1528 (11th Cir. 1986). For conspiracy statutes
not require proof of an overt act, such as RICO (18 U.S.C. § 1961) or
U.S.C. § 846, the government must allege and prove that the conspiracy
continued into the limitations period. The crucial question in this regard
the scope of the conspiratorial agreement, and the conspiracy is deemed to
continue until its purpose has been achieved or abandoned. See
States v. Northern Imp. Co., 814 F.2d 540 (8th Cir. 1987); United
v. Coia, 719 F.2d 1120 (11th Cir. 1983), cert. denied, 466
An individual's "withdrawal" from a conspiracy starts the statute
limitations running as to that individual. "Withdrawal" from a conspiracy
this purpose means that the conspirator must take affirmative action by
a clean breast to the authorities or communicating his or her disassociation
the other conspirators. See United States v. Gonzalez, 797
915 (10th Cir. 1986).
[cited in Criminal Resource Manual 651; USAM 9-18.000]