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Criminal Resource Manual

1440. Scienter for offenses under § 842

Because Congress intended § 842 to be utilized for regulatory purposes, see H.R. Rep. No. 91-1549, 91st Cong., 2d Sess., reprinted in 1970 U.S. Code Cong. and Adm. News 4007, 4042, Congress only required, with the exception of subsection (f), that violations under this section be done "knowingly." Note that subsections (j), (k), (l), (m), (n) and (o) fail to State the requisite scienter. In United States v. Collins, 949 F.2d 1029, (8th Cir. 1991), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rejected reading specific intent into a violation of § 842(j), and only required knowledge that the commodity being handled was an explosive; a dangerous commodity regulated in the interest of public safety. Cf. United States v. Freed, 401 U.S. 601, 609 (1971); United States v. Langley, 62 F.3d 602, 605 (4th Cir. 1995). "[A]bsent a clear manifestation of contrary intent, a newly-enacted or revised statute is presumed to be harmonious with existing law and its judicial construction." Estate of Wood v. C.I.R., 909 F.2d 270, 277 (8th Cir. 1983). Accordingly, with the exception of subsection (f), which requires proof of specific intent that defendant acted "willfully," the scienter required under § 842 is that the offenses were committed "knowingly."

[cited in USAM 9-63.900]