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United States v. Rivero

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

May 2, 2018

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Gabriel Rivero, Defendant-Appellant.

         FOR PUBLICATION

          Argued and Submitted March 12, 2018 San Francisco, California

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona Frank R. Zapata, Senior District Judge, Presiding D.C. Nos. 4:16-cr-00713-FRZ-BGM-1, 4:08-cr-00771-FRZ-BGM-2

          Christopher L. Scileppi (argued), Law Offices of Christopher L. Scileppi PLLC, Tucson, Arizona, for Defendant-Appellant.

          Angela Walker Woolridge (argued), Assistant United States Attorney; Robert L. Miskell, Appellate.

          Chief; Elizabeth A. Strange, First Assistant United States Attorney; United States Attorney's Office, Tucson, Arizona; for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          Before: Richard A. Paez and Sandra S. Ikuta, Circuit Judges, and Eric N. Vitaliano, [*] District Judge.

         SUMMARY [**]

         Criminal Law

         The panel affirmed a conviction for attempting to smuggle ammunition from the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 554(a), and the revocation of the defendant's supervised release from a prior conviction.

         Section 554(a) imposes criminal penalties on whoever fraudulently or knowingly exports or attempts to export any "merchandise, article, or object" contrary to any law or regulation of the United States. At trial, the defendant objected to the jury instructions and the prosecutor's closing argument, contending that § 554(a) required the government to prove that the defendant knew he was exporting ammunition. The panel held that the district court did not err in overruling those objections, because § 554 does not require the government to prove that the defendant knew the nature of the "merchandise, article, or object" that the defendant was exporting contrary to law.

          OPINION

          IKUTA, Circuit Judge:

         Gabriel Rivero appeals his jury conviction for attempting to smuggle ammunition from the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 554(a), which imposes criminal penalties on "[w]hoever fraudulently or knowingly exports . . . or attempts to export . . . any merchandise, article or object contrary to any law or regulation of the United States." At trial, Rivero objected to the jury instructions and the prosecutor's closing argument, contending that § 554(a) required the government to prove that Rivero knew he was exporting ammunition. We conclude that the district court did not err in overruling those objections, because § 554 does not require the ...


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