Destruction of Government PropertyRelated
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1361 is a general statute
applies to actual destruction of government property when a more
narrowly-tailored statute does not apply. Caution should be exercised when
selecting the statute to apply to any given set of facts. In United
v. LaPorta, 46 F.3d 152, 156-57 (2d Cir. 1994) the United States Court
Appeals for the Second Circuit decided that when the offense is destruction
government property by fire, the government is required to prosecute using
U.S.C. § 844(f), rather than a combination of generalized statutes such
18 U.S.C. §§ 844(h)(1) and 1361. However, in United States v.
Jones, 607 F.2d 269, 271-72 (9th Cir. 1979), the United States Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided that, "where an act violates more than
statute, the Government may elect to prosecute under either unless the
congressional history indicates that Congress intended to disallow the use
more general statute."|
Section 1361 is a designated "Federal crime of terrorism" if the
offense is "calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by
intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct . . .
U.S.C. § 2332b(g)(5). If such is present, the FBI is the primary
investigative agency. See 18 U.S.C. § 2332b(f).
[cited in USAM 9-66.500]