United States v. Young, No. 19-4149 (4th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Defendants Young and Volious were convicted of (1) a criminal conspiracy with several objectives; (2) aiding and abetting the transportation of an explosive in interstate commerce to kill an individual; (3) aiding and abetting the mailing of a non-mailable item with intent to kill; and (4) aiding and abetting the carrying of an explosive during the commission of a felony. Defendants' convictions stemmed from their plan to kill Young's ex-wife by mailing her a bomb.
The Fourth Circuit concluded that, as a matter of law, an inert bomb that contains explosives qualifies as a nonmailable item under 18 U.S.C. 1716, and that sufficient evidence supported defendants' convictions for aiding and abetting the mailing of a nonmailable item. Furthermore, because mailing a nonmailable item with intent to kill under section 1716(j) was the predicate felony, the court upheld the jury's convictions for aiding and abetting the carrying of an explosive during the commission of a felony in violation of 18 U.S.C. 844(h). Finally, the court rejected Volious's challenges to the indictment, the jury instructions, and the district court's denial of his pre-trial motion to sever.