Maritime, Territorial and Indian Jurisdiction --
Jurisdiction over most personal and property crimes within our
system is vested in the states. The Federal government enacts criminal laws
primarily for the protection of its own functions (e.g., 18 U.S.C. §
personnel (e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 1114); and property (e.g., 18 U.S.C.
It intrudes into the area generally left to the states only where special
circumstances warrant its providing auxiliary law enforcement assistance to
states unable to act beyond their borders (e.g., 18 U.S.C. §§ 659,
2314). For Federal jurisdiction to exist, the underlying conduct must be
upon or linked to some "nexus," such as use of the mail, 18 U.S.C. §
interstate commerce, 18 U.S.C. § 2314, or Federal insurance, 18 U.S.C.
There are, in addition, certain instances in which the special
relationship the United States Government bears to the site of the offense
provides the rationale and basis for the exercise of plenary criminal
jurisdiction. It is with this latter class of offenses that this chapter is
[cited in USAM 9-20.100]