Destruction of Motor Vehicles
Section 33 makes it a Federal crime willfully, with intent to
the safety of any person on board or anyone he/she believes may be on board,
disable, destroy, tamper with, or place or cause to be placed any explosive
other destructive substance in, upon, or in proximity to any motor vehicle
is used, operated, or employed in interstate or foreign commerce, or its
or material used or intended to be used in connection with its operation.
defendant must willfully cause the injury to the motor vehicle. United
v. Kurka, 818 F.2d 1427 (9th Cir. 1987). The motor vehicle must be one
for commercial purposes to transport persons and/or property on the
(Prior to October 12, 1984, trucks carrying only cargo were not covered, but
now are. (See Part I of Chapter X of the Comprehensive Crime Control
of 1984, Pub.L. No. 98-473, October 12, 1984.)) In United States v.
65 F.3d 1137 (4th Cir. 1995), the Fourth Circuit construed the term "used"
require only that the motor vehicle be used by a business engaged in
commerce and not that the vehicle itself had to actually travel in
interstate commerce. Id. at 1143.|
While the normal penalty for a violation of § 33 is a fine
Title 18, or imprisonment not more than 20 years, or both, as of January 1,
Congress increased the period of incarceration to a mandatory term of not
than 30 years if the motor vehicle, at the time of the offense, carried
high-level radioactive waste or spent nuclear fuel. See 18 U.S.C.
[cited in USAM 9-139.020; USAM 9-63.200]