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UNITED STATES v. HUSLAGE

December 5, 1979

THE UNITED STATES, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN NILES HUSLAGE, THOMAS ALBERT STEWART, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: COHILL

MEMORANDUM OPINION

A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment against John Niles Huslage and Thomas Albert Stewart on July 25, 1979. A synopsis of the five counts follows:

 (1) Count One charges both defendants with kidnapping a fifteen-year old minor, (who will be referred to as "C.T."), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1201 (1976), and transporting her from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Philipsburg, Pennsylvania.

 (2) Count Two charges that both defendants knowingly transported a female C.T. in interstate commerce for an immoral purpose in violation of the Mann Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2421 (1976).

 (3) Count Three charges Huslage alone with knowingly shipping and transporting a firearm in interstate commerce, having been previously convicted of a felony, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) (1976).

 (4) Count Four charges Huslage alone with violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(i) (1976) by knowingly shipping and transporting a stolen firearm in interstate commerce, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the firearm was stolen.

 (5) Count Five charges that both defendants unlawfully carried a firearm during their commission of the offense of kidnapping in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) (1976) and 18 U.S.C. § 2 (1976).

 Mr. Huslage is thus charged under all five counts of the indictment, while Mr. Stewart is charged as a codefendant in Counts One, Two and Five.

 On October 22, 1979, this Court heard testimony and arguments on four pretrial motions presented by the defense. The defendants joined in making all four motions. Although this Court orally ruled on these motions in order to enable counsel to proceed with their preparations for trial, we now provide a fuller explanation of those rulings.

 I.

 Joint Motion to Dismiss Count Two

 Count Two of the indictment charges both John Niles Huslage and Thomas Albert Stewart with a violation of section 2421 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which is commonly known as the Mann Act. The defendants argue that the United States Attorneys' Manual directs the district offices only to prosecute cases under section 2421 when those cases involve commercial prostitution activities. Noting that the present case does not have any commercial element, the defendants move this Court to dismiss Count Two, or in the alternative, to order the government to request a determination by the Justice Department of the propriety of the instant prosecution.

 Section 2421 does not require, on its face, that the government prove an element of commercialism in order to obtain a conviction. Rather, the statute authorizes the prosecution of anyone who knowingly transports across state lines a female for any immoral purpose. If the government proves the facts alleged in this case, a jury lawfully could convict the defendants under the Mann Act. The procedures set forth in the United States Attorneys' Manual are not binding on district offices, the Manual creates no rights in any party, and the United States District Courts have no jurisdiction to enforce the Manual's directives. See United States v. Shulman, 466 F. Supp. 293, 297-301 (S.D.N.Y.1979). Even if this Court did have the authority to enforce the Manual, however, we still would not dismiss Count Two. We interpret the relevant section of the Manual as seeking to avoid the prosecution of cases in which there was no commercial element and the female had consented to the interstate travel. We do not believe that the Manual seeks to prevent the prosecution of cases in which a defendant allegedly transports an underage female against her will.

 The joint motion to dismiss Count Two will be denied.

 II.

 Joint Motion to Suppress Evidence Seized and Statements Given

 The defendants jointly move this Court to suppress evidence seized by Pennsylvania state troopers during a search of the defendants' persons incident to their arrest and during two searches of an automobile that was in the possession of Defendant Huslage. They also move to suppress statements given by the ...


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