United States v. Haynes, No. 17-3657 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
In 1996, Haynes robbed six stores at gunpoint. Three robberies were in Illinois and three were in Iowa. Haynes was charged with the Illinois robberies under the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. 1951. For each robbery, Haynes also was charged with a count under 18 U.S.C. 924(c) for using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The Iowa robberies were charged under section 1952(a)(2), which makes it a crime to travel in interstate commerce with the intent to commit a crime of violence and then to attempt or carry out a crime of violence. The indictment alleged that Haynes accomplished each 1952 violation “by committing the offense of robbery” under section 1951; each charge had a corresponding 924(c) firearm charge. Convicted on all counts, Haynes was sentenced to life in prison for each robbery based on 18 U.S.C. 3559(c)(1) because he had two prior Illinois burglary convictions that were treated as “serious violent felonies.” The Seventh Circuit affirmed Haynes’ section 924(c) convictions because the indictment and jury instructions, taken together, required jurors to find each element of the Hobbs Act robberies—crimes of violence—at the center of the nested charging scheme with section 1951 inside section 1952(a)(2) inside section 924(c). Haynes unsuccessfully argued that section 1952(a)(2) was not “divisible” and that the jury did not necessarily find him guilty of the underlying Hobbs Act robberies.