Bozza v. United States
330 U.S. 160 (1947)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bozza v. United States, 330 U.S. 160 (1947)

Bozza v. United States

No. 190

Argued January 7, 1947

Decided February 17, 1947

330 U.S. 160


1. In a trial on an indictment for making and fermenting mash for the production of alcohol in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 2834, the evidence showed that C alone handled and mixed the ingredients of the mash, and there was no evidence to indicate that B ever took any part in, or aided and abetted, this particular part of the process of operating an illicit distillery, or that he was ever in the part of the premises where the ingredients were stored and the mash was made, although he helped to operate the still in a different part of the premises, and to transport the product.

Held: the Government's concession that the evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction of B is accepted. P. 330 U. S. 163.

Page 330 U. S. 161

2. In a trial on an indictment for having possession and custody of an illicit still in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 2810(a), the evidence showed that the defendant helped to operate the still; but there was no evidence showing that he ever exercised any control over the still, aided in the exercise of any such control, or acted as a caretaker, watchman, lookout, or in any similar capacity calculated to facilitate its custody or possession.

Held: the Government's concession that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction is accepted. Pp. 330 U. S. 163-164.

3. In a trial on an indictment for operating "the business of distiller . . . with intent willfully to defraud" the Government of taxes in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 2833(a), the evidence showed that C secretly carried on the business of a distiller in an apparently abandoned farmhouse, that B assisted him, and that the products were transported to a city in a car which followed another car, sometimes B's.

Held: the evidence was sufficient to sustain B's conviction. Pp. 330 U. S. 164-165.

(a) Under 18 U.S.C. § 550, one who aids and abets another to commit a crime is guilty as a principal. P. 330 U. S. 164.

(b) The jury could properly infer that one helping to operate a secret distillery in the manner here shown knew that it was operated with intent to defraud the Government of its taxes. Pp. 330 U. S. 164-165.

4. Having been convicted of a crime carrying a mandatory minimum sentence of fine and imprisonment, defendant was sentenced to imprisonment only, and placed in temporary detention awaiting transportation to a penitentiary. Five hours later, the judge recalled him, called attention to the mandatory provision for fine and imprisonment, and sentenced him to both.

Held: this did not constitute double jeopardy contrary to the Constitution. Pp. 330 U. S. 165-167.

155 F.2d 592 affirmed in part and reversed in part.

Petitioner was convicted on five counts of an indictment for violating the Internal Revenue Laws in connection with the operation of a still. The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed on two counts and affirmed on three counts. 155 F.2d 592. This Court granted certiorari. 329 U.S. 698. Reversed on two counts and affirmed on one count, p. 330 U. S. 167.

Page 330 U. S. 162

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