from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas
SMITH, ELROD, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.
JENNIFER WALKER ELROD, CIRCUIT JUDGE:
Donshay Jones pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2119 and 2 and to one
count of using, carrying, or brandishing a firearm during and
in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(c)(1)(A). Jones challenges the constitutionality
of § 2119 as applied to him because, he argues, the
vehicle he carjacked was removed from interstate commerce.
Jones also argues that carjacking does not constitute a
"crime of violence" under § 924(c)(1). Because
the minimal interstate commerce nexus that our precedent
requires for prosecution under § 2119 was satisfied and
because carjacking is a "crime of violence" under
§ 924(c)(1), we AFFIRM the district court's
Donshay Jones confronted a woman and her four-year-old son at
gunpoint as they were walking from their vehicle to their
apartment building late at night. Jones threatened to shoot
the woman and her son if she did not give him everything she
had in her possession. After the woman gave Jones her car
keys, Jones and an accomplice entered the woman's vehicle
and drove away. The next day, investigators located Jones and
the accomplice along with the stolen vehicle. Jones and the
accomplice were both arrested.
was indicted on two counts: one count of carjacking in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2119 and 2; and one count
of using, carrying, or brandishing a firearm during and in
relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(c)(1). Jones filed a motion to dismiss the
indictment, challenging the constitutionality of § 2119
and arguing that the vehicle he carjacked was removed from
interstate commerce and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of
federal law enforcement. The district court denied this
motion. Jones later filed a second motion to dismiss, arguing
that the carjacking statute is not a predicate "crime of
violence" that could support a conviction under §
924(c). The district court denied this motion as well.
ultimately pleaded guilty to both counts of the indictment
while preserving his right to challenge the district
court's denial of his two motions to dismiss. Jones
stipulated that he committed the robbery, that he brandished
a gun in the process, and that the stolen vehicle "was
not manufactured in the State of Texas and had been shipped,
transported, and received from another state prior to the
carjacking." The district court imposed a sentence of
imprisonment for a term of 168 months. Jones has appealed
both of the district court's orders denying his motions
to dismiss the indictment.
review de novo a district court's denial of a
defendant's motion to dismiss an indictment. United
States v. Kay, 513 F.3d 432, 440 (5th Cir. 2007). We
also review de novo the issue of whether a statute
is unconstitutionally vague. United States v.
Gonzalez-Longoria, 831 F.3d 670, 674 (5th Cir. 2016) (en
banc) ("Whether a statute is unconstitutionally vague is
a question of law, which we likewise review de novo.").
raises two arguments on appeal. First, Jones argues that the
federal carjacking statute-18 U.S.C. §§ 2119-is
unconstitutional as applied to him. Second, Jones argues that
the definition of "crime of violence" under 18
U.S.C. § 924(c)(3) is unconstitutionally vague and that
carjacking does not otherwise qualify as a crime of violence.
Neither of these arguments is persuasive.
contends that the carjacking statute is unconstitutional as
applied to him because the stolen vehicle did not have a
sufficient nexus to interstate commerce. Jones admits that
the vehicle was manufactured in Michigan and transported to
Texas in 2008, but he argues that because the vehicle had not
left the state for over five years, no rational basis exists
to conclude that the carjacking in this case substantially