Proving Violations of 18 U.S.C. § 2321
Section 2321 of Title 18 is a trafficking offense. The previous
discussion relating to proving violations of 18 U.S.C. § 511 should
be consulted. See this Manual at 1375.
In the indictment for 18 U.S.C. § 2321 you may wish to use the false
or altered VIN actually on the motor vehicle in order to help specify
the motor vehicle which is the subject matter of the charge.|
To establish a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2321 the government must
establish that: (1) the defendant acquired or possessed a road motor
vehicle or component on which the vehicle identification number (VIN) or
component identification number (after the component standard becomes
effective) had been removed, obliterated, tampered with, or altered; (2)
the identification number was one required by the United States
Department of Transportation; (3) such removal, obliteration, tampering
with, or alteration was done unlawfully; (4) the defendant was aware of
the unlawful removal, obliteration, tampering with, or alteration; and
(5) defendant had an intent to sell or otherwise dispose of the motor
vehicle (or component part).
In most cases proof of the defendant's awareness of the stolen
nature of the motor vehicle (or component) will satisfy the knowledge
requirements. Also, the presence on the defendant's premises of several
vehicles or numerous components lacking the proper numbers should help
satisfy the knowledge and intent requirements.
[updated May 1999] [cited in Criminal Resource Manual 1364; Criminal Resource Manual 1366; Criminal Resource Manual 1377; USAM 9-61.700]