Nevertheless, Congress may regulate "activities that arise out of or are
connected with a commercial transaction, which viewed in the aggregate,
substantially affects interstate commerce." Lopez, 514 U.S. at 561, 115
Thus Lopez and its progeny, including McGuire, have made clear that
each individual offense prosecutable under a statute need not have a
substantial relation to interstate commerce. See, e.g., Lopez, 514 U.S.
at 558, 561, 115 S.Ct. 1624. Certain connections to interstate commerce
are indeed too trivial or attenuated to support federal jurisdiction,
such as the mere possession of a container of orange juice by a local
business or the borrowing of a cup of sugar. Provided the link is not too
remote, however, the specific offense need not have an independent
Much as the statute at issue in McGuire sought to protect business
property used in interstate commerce, § 2113 seeks to protect
commercial entities and their assets. See McGuire, 178 F.3d at 207-08.
The McGuire court inquired whether the business harmed by the proscribed
act bore a sufficient relation to interstate commerce to support the
exercise of jurisdiction. In McGuire, it did not. Posing a similar
question in this case, however, strongly supports the exercise of
jurisdiction. Although the $3,500 stolen from First Savings may not alone
alter the course of interstate commerce, the bank itself is inextricably
linked to interstate commerce as a conduit for, and participant in,
nationwide transactions. Congress could rationally and reasonably
conclude that the economic effects of this robbery, which extend beyond
the mere dollar amount, warrant federal jurisdiction.
In concluding, this Court must note the closely analagous situation
found in Perez v. United States, 402 U.S. 146, 91 S.Ct. 1357, 28 L.Ed.2d
686 (1971), where the Supreme Court affirmed a conviction for a purely
intrastate extortionate credit transaction totaling approximately
$3,000.00. See id. at 147-48, 91 S.Ct. 1357. The Perez Court recognized
the impact of such "loan-sharking" on interstate commerce and declared an
intrastate extortionate credit transaction of a relatively small sum
permissibly proscribed by federal law. See id. at 156, 91 S.Ct. 1357; see
also Lopez, 514 U.S. at 559-60, 115 S.Ct. 1624 (approving Perez as an
appropriate exercise of commerce power).
As in Perez, here, neither the relatively small sum nor the seemingly
intrastate nature of the offense is fatal to the indictment. This bank
robbery cannot be divorced from the impact bank robberies as a whole have
on banking and commerce. Accordingly, Defendant's motion is denied and
the indictment will stand.*fn11
For all of the foregoing reasons, Defendant's motion to dismiss the
indictment is denied.