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United States v. Mitchell

ELR Citation: 6 ELR 20683
Nos. No. 75-613-Cr-WM, (S.D. Fla., 04/26/1976)

The magistrate denies a motion to dismiss a 32-count indictment brought under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for animal takings which occurred in Bahamian waters. The doctrine of objective territorial jurisdiction allows the United States to extend its criminal jurisdiction to reach extra-territorial actions of United States citizens. The legislative history of the Marine Mammal Act supports the view that Congress intended to impose criminal sanctions on all takings of marine mammals by its citizens regardless of where they transpire during the general statutory moratorium. Conspiracy to violate regulations promulgated under the Act constitutes a violation of the Act itself. An allegation that the marine mammals involved moved in interstate commerce is not an essential element of all offenses under the Act.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Donald Ferguson, Asst. U.S. Attorney
300 Ainsley Bldg.
14 NE 1st Ave.
Miami FL 33132
(305) 350-4471

Counsel for Defendants
Edward B. Galante Asst. Federal Public Defender
505 Ainsley Bldg.
Miami FL 33132
(305) 350-4391