United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. Campbell, Senior United States District Judge.
government has charged Defendant Kyle Thompson with four
counts of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual
conduct and commission of a sex offense by a registered sex
offender in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2423(b), (f),
and 2260A. Doc. 1. Defendant is represented by counsel, but
the Court granted him leave to file a pro se motion to
dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, which is now fully briefed.
Docs. 33, 55, 56, 58. For the following reasons, the Court
will deny the motion.
1 and 2 of the indictment allege that in December 2016,
Defendant traveled twice from Arizona to Alabama for the
purpose of meeting with two 15-year-old girls to engage in
illicit sexual conduct. Doc. 56 at 2-3. The government
interprets Defendant's motion as arguing that the
indictment fails to charge an offense, the Court has no
jurisdiction over the charged conduct, the Court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction, and the alleged victims are not
“commerce” and were not transported. Id.
Personal and Subject Matter Jurisdiction.
asserts that the indictment “fails to charge an offense
against the laws of the United States as no jurisdiction has
been ceded or accepted over the place or places where the
alleged criminal activity is alleged to have occurred.”
Doc. 55 at 3. “In ruling on a pretrial motion under
Rule 12(b)(3)(B)(v) of the Federal Rules of Criminal
Procedure to dismiss an indictment for failure to state an
offense, the district court is bound by the four corners of
the indictment.” United States v.
Alahmedalabdaloklah, No. CR-12-01263-PHX-NVW, 2017 WL
2988236, at *1 (D. Ariz. July 13, 2017) (citing United
States v. Boren, 278 F.3d 911, 914 (9th Cir. 2002)). The
Court must accept as true the indictment's allegations
and not consider outside evidence. Id.
is charged with “travel[ing] in interstate commerce
[from Arizona to Alabama] . . . with a motivating purpose of
engaging in  illicit sexual conduct” with two minors.
See Doc. 1. The indictment alleges conduct that
constitutes a cognizable offense under 18 U.S.C. §
2423(b). Contrary to Defendant's assertion, the
government need not prove all the elements of the charged
offenses at this point in the case.
argument that jurisdiction has not “been ceded or
accepted” is unclear. He states: “[it's] not
a clear location shown by the prosecution and no jurisdiction
over the place the prosecution did mention, ” and
“[t]here is no power to supers[ede] the state.”
Doc. 55 at 3. “Under 18 U.S.C. § 3231, federal
district courts have exclusive original jurisdiction over
‘all offenses against the laws of the United
States.'” United States v. Marks, 530 F.3d
799, 810 (9th Cir. 2008) (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 3231).
Defendant is charged with violating federal criminal
statutes. See Doc. 1. Further, the Court has
personal jurisdiction over Defendant “by virtue of
[his] having been brought before it on a federal indictment
charging a violation of federal law.” Marks,
530 F.3d at 810; see also United States v. Lindsey,
Civil No. 11-00664 JMS-KSC, 2013 WL 3947757, at *2 n.1 (D.
Haw. July 30, 2013).
asserts that the Court “has no subject-matter
jurisdiction and is not an ordained and established Article
III court.” Doc. 55 at 3. The Court is an Article III
court with subject matter jurisdiction over Defendant's
alleged violation of federal law. See Marks, 530
F.3d at 810.
Other Jurisdictional Arguments.
seems to misunderstand the nature of the government's
charges. See Doc. 56 at 6-7. He asserts that he is
from California and “the charge is an Alabama state
local charge.” Doc. 55 at 2. But Defendant is charged
with violating federal law, not state law, and with beginning
his travels in Arizona, which the Court must take as true for
purposes of this motion to dismiss. See Boren, 278
F.3d at 914. Federal courts have jurisdiction over crimes
committed within the States of this Nation, provided the
charged crimes are federal in nature and are brought under
the laws of the United States, as are the charges in this
asserts that “no actual commerce [exists]” and
that the minor girls were not transported or selling sex.
Doc. 55 at 4-5. But the government does not allege that
Defendant “knowingly transport[ed] an individual who
has not attained the age of 18 years in interstate or foreign
commerce . . . with intent that the individual [would] engage
in prostitution” under § 2423(a). See
Doc. 56 at 7. Rather, Defendant is accused under §
2423(b) and (f) of traveling in interstate commerce with the
intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, a
criminal statute enacted pursuant to Congress's Commerce
Clause authority. See Doc. 1; see also United
States v. Tykarsky, 446 F.3d 458, 470 (3d Cir. 2006)
(“both § 2423(b) and § 2422(b) represent
constitutional exercises of Congress's Commerce Clause
power to regulate the use of the channels and
instrumentalities of interstate commerce.”); United
States v. Hawkins, 513 F.3d 59, 61 n.1 (2d Cir. 2008)
(noting that “18 U.S.C. § 2423(b) is
constitutional under the Commerce Clause”); United
States v. Bredimus, 352 F.3d 200, 207-08 (5th Cir. 2003)
IS ORDERED that Defendant's motion to dismiss
(Doc. 55) is denied. Excludable delay
pursuant to U.S.C. § ...