United States v. Freeman,
239 U.S. 117 (1915)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Freeman, 239 U.S. 117 (1915)

United States v. Freeman

No. 481

Argued October 21, 1915

Decided November 15, 1915

239 U.S. 117


The act prohibited by § 240, Criminal Code, making it punishable to ship or cause to be shipped from one state into another state or from a foreign country into a state, a package of intoxicating liquor not marked as required by the statute is essentially a continuing act the performance whereof is begun when the package is delivered to the carrier and completed when it reaches its destination.

The word "ship" as used in § 240, Criminal Code, is not used in the sense of "deliver for shipment," making the offense a completed one upon delivery of the goods.

A criminal statute applicable alike to shipments in interstate and foreign commerce will not be so construed as to render it obviously futile as to foreign commerce; it should be so construed, if its words permit, as to cause it to reach both classes of shipments and to accomplish the object of its enactment.

Section 240, Criminal Code, refers to the continuing act of shipping goods whereby the transportation into a state is accomplished, and the district court within the state into which the goods are shipped has jurisdiction of the offense under § 42, Judicial Code, as well as the district court within the state from which the goods are shipped.

The facts, which involve the jurisdiction of the District Court of the offense of shipping intoxicating liquor in interstate and foreign commerce in violation of, and the construction of § 240, Criminal Code, are stated in the opinion.

Page 239 U. S. 119

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