United States v. Robertson, 514 U.S. 669 (1995) (per curiam)

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certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit

No. 94-251. Argued February 27, 1995—Decided May 1, 1995

Respondent Robertson's investment in his Alaska gold mine of the proceeds from his unlawful narcotics activities prompted a federal indictment for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which makes it a crime for any person to use or invest any income derived from a pattern of racketeering activity in the "acquisition of any interest in, or the establishment or operation of, any enterprise which is engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate . . . commerce," 18 U. S. C. 1962(a). Robertson was convicted on this charge, but the Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that the Government had failed to introduce sufficient evidence that the gold mine (the RICO "enterprise") was "engaged in or affect[ed] interstate commerce."

Held: Robertson's gold mine comes within 1962(a)'s jurisdictional reach.

At trial, the Government proved, inter alia, that Robertson purchased equipment and supplies in California and transported them to Alaska for use in the mine, brought workers from outside Alaska to work in the mine, and transported 15% of the mine's output out of Alaska. These activities assuredly brought the mine within 1962(a)'s criterion of "an enterprise . . . engaged in . . . interstate . . . commerce." See, e. g., United States v. American Building Maintenance Industries, 422 U. S. 271, 283. Because the proof thus focused on interstate activities rather than intrastate activities having interstate effects, this Court need not decide whether the activities substantially affected interstate commerce under, e. g., Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U. S. 111, 127-128. 15 F. 3d 862, reversed.

Miguel A. Estrada argued the cause for the United States. With him on the briefs were Solicitor General Days, Assistant Attorney General Harris, and Michael R. Dreeben, Acting Deputy Solicitor General.

Glenn Stewart Warren, by appointment of the Court, 513 U. S. 985, argued the cause and filed a brief for respondent.*

*Jon May and Ephraim Margolin filed a brief for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as amicus curiae urging affirmance.


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