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8.37 Importing Merchandise Illegally

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8.37 IMPORTING MERCHANDISE ILLEGALLY (18 U.S.C. § 545)

The defendant is charged in [Count _______ of] the indictment with [[fraudulently] [knowingly]] [[importing] [bringing]] into the United States merchandise in violation of Section 545 of the United States Code. In order for the defendant to be found guilty of that charge, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant [[fraudulently] [knowingly]] [[imported] [brought]] merchandise into the United States contrary to [specify law].

Comment

This instruction deals with the first clause of the second paragraph of 18 U.S.C. § 545. If the charge is a violation of the second clause of the second paragraph, use Instruction 8.38 (Receiving, Concealing, Buying or Selling Smuggled Merchandise). Instructions 8.35 (Smuggling Goods) and 8.36 (Passing False Papers Through Customhouse) deal with violations of the first paragraph of § 545.

The term "law" in § 545 includes a regulation as well as a statute, but only when there is a statute which specifies that a violation of the regulation is a crime. United States v. Alghazouli, 517 F.3d 1179, 1183 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 237 (2008).

See United States v. Garcia-Paz, 282 F.3d 1212, 1214-15 (9th Cir.2002) (court properly instructed jury that marijuana constitutes "merchandise" for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 545).