The Travel Act was passed in the 1960’s in response to organized crime. The Act was intended to assist state and local authorities with limited resources in their efforts to combat organized crime. The Act provides that any individual who travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses the mail or any facility in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to:
- Distribute the proceeds of any unlawful activity.
- Commit a violent crime to further criminal activity.
- Promote, manage, establish, carry on, or facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, or carrying on of any criminal activity.
may be guilty of violating the Travel Act.
Unlawful activity includes:
- Illegal gambling.
- Illegal liquor offenses.
- Controlled substances.
The Act is violated by movement in or use of interstate commerce with the intent of committing, furthering, or distributing proceeds of the above-listed series offenses.
The Hobbs Act vs The Travel Act
The Hobbs Act requires only that interstate commerce be affected or obstructed. Further, under the Hobbs Act the use of interstate commerce may be incidental to the offense. Whereas with the Travel Act, utilization of the facilities of interstate commerce is required along with the establishment of a significant nexus with interstate commerce.
If a defendant is convicted of violating the Travel Act he may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years for committing certain offenses or may sentenced to not more than 20 years imprisonment for the commission of other offenses. However, if death results during the commission of any of the above offenses the defendant may be sentenced to any term of imprisonment including life in prison.