Argued: October 18, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Western
District of Michigan at Grand Rapids. No.
1:14-cr-00172-Robert Holmes Bell, District Judge.
Kenneth P. Tableman, KENNETH P. TABLEMAN, P.C., Grand Rapids,
Michigan, for Appellant.
Jennifer L. McManus, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE,
Grand Rapids, Michigan, for Appellee.
Kenneth P. Tableman, KENNETH P. TABLEMAN, P.C., Grand Rapids,
Michigan, for Appellant.
Jennifer L. McManus, Michael A. MacDonald, UNITED STATES
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Grand Rapids, Michigan, for Appellee.
Before: MERRITT, ROGERS, and KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judges.
ROGERS, Circuit Judge.
Myers is a serial thief of motor homes. During his latest
spree of thefts, Myers stole at least eight motor homes and
then sold them to unsuspecting dealers, posing as their
legitimate owner by using clone titles. A jury convicted him
of multiple counts of interstate transportation of stolen
vehicles, money laundering, and related conspiracies, and he
was sentenced to 360 months' imprisonment. On appeal,
Myers challenges his money-laundering convictions, arguing
that the district in which he stole the motor homes was not
the proper venue for his money-laundering convictions,
because he sold the homes outside of that district. That
challenge fails, both as a statutory argument and as a
constitutional argument. Proper venue lay in the trial
district under the plain text of the money-laundering statute
because Myers was properly charged with his interstate thefts
in the district and because Myers participated in removing
the theft's proceeds out of the district. Venue was
constitutionally permissible because Myers partially
committed concealment money laundering in the trial district
by there obtaining possession of the theft's unlawful
proceeds, which he would launder elsewhere. Myers's other
appellate arguments-alleging multiplicitous charging,
improper denial of self-representation, and erroneous
Myers was born on November 11, 1958. Using about 105 other
names, eleven other dates of birth, and eleven other social
security numbers / employer identification numbers,
Myers has devoted his life to stealing. His
criminal record begins at age 12, when he was charged with
shoplifting; he was committed to a Utah prison at age 16 for
stealing a car; and, all told, he accumulated about 47
arrests as a juvenile. As an adult, in 1977, and under the
name David Lawrence Herdrich, Myers was convicted of stealing
a car in Florida after posing as a hitchhiker, and served a
year in jail. In 1982, and under the name Alan Brooks, Myers
was convicted of burglarizing a motor home parked at a ski
resort, and spent another year in jail. In 1983, under the
name Michael Howley, Myers was convicted in Kentucky of theft
by deception for filing five refund applications for traveler
checks, and was sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
Myers escaped from the Kentucky prison after just a few
months, and in 1987, under the name Richard David Parker,
Myers was convicted of conspiring to possess and pass
counterfeit Federal Reserve notes, and was transferred to
Kentucky to serve the remaining Kentucky sentence.
in the late 1980s, Myers began focusing his criminal
activities on stealing motor homes. In 1988, he was convicted
in Georgia of interstate transportation of counterfeit motor
home titles, and was sentenced to ten years'
imprisonment. He was paroled early in 1996. In 1998, he was
convicted in Mississippi of conspiring to transport stolen
motor homes, and was sentenced to 44 months'
imprisonment. In 2004, he was arrested once again, was later
convicted of interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle,
and was sentenced to 60 months' imprisonment. Myers has
also been jailed repeatedly for violating his parole.
met Walter Nunley, his main coconspirator in this round of
thefts, in the early 1990s while they were both imprisoned in
Kentucky. In September 2011, when Myers was released after
being imprisoned for violating his parole, Nunley picked
Myers up at the prison, and the pair went straight to work on
stealing motor homes. By the time they were arrested, they
had stolen at least eight motor homes across the United
and Nunley stole and profited from motor homes using the same
general method. Myers would first identify target motor homes
online and contact their owners to obtain the motor
homes' vehicle identification numbers (VINs), ostensibly
to conduct a Carfax search on them. Myers would then forge
Virginia titles for the targeted motor homes using their
VINs. Using the forged Virginia titles, Myers would next
apply for a clone title from either Mississippi or Illinois,
as neither state verified that the out-of-state title-here,
the forged Virginia title-was real. Myers and Nunley would
then steal the targeted motor homes using master keys that
they obtained online, pose as legitimate owners of the stolen
motor homes using the clone titles from Mississippi or
Illinois, and sell the motor homes to unsuspecting dealers.
and Nunley applied that method to steal three motor homes in
the Western District of Michigan. They stole a 2006 Country
Coach Rembrant in Holland, Michigan, a 2004 Newmar Essex in
Kent County, Michigan, and a 2005 Holiday Rambler also in
Kent County, Michigan. From other places, Myers and Nunley
stole at least five more motor homes.
criminal partnership unraveled, however, and in March 2013,
Nunley began cooperating with an FBI agent who was already
investigating their crimes. In a related case, Nunley was
convicted of multiple counts of interstate transportation of
stolen vehicles, money-laundering conspiracy, and other
related counts. He was sentenced to 188 months'
imprisonment and ordered to pay about $1.45 million in
superseding indictment charged Myers with seven counts. The
first count charged the overarching conspiracy to steal motor
homes, transport them across state lines, and sell them, all
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. The next three counts
accused Myers of transporting each of the three motor homes
stolen from Michigan and in interstate commerce in violation
of 18 U.S.C. § 2312. The fifth count accused Myers of
money-laundering conspiracy in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1956(h). The final two counts accused Myers of substantive
concealment money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1956 for selling the stolen motor homes by posing as their
legitimate owner and for retrieving the sale money in cash.
filed a number of motions before trial. He first moved to
represent himself. The district court held a hearing on the
motion. During the hearing, as the district court probed
Myers's understanding of the risks of representing
himself, Myers repeatedly interrupted. When the government
objected to Myers's self-representation because Myers had
indicated, during his recorded prison calls, that he wanted
to represent himself to drag out the trial and to cost the
government as much money as possible, Myers admitted to the
court: "I said if the government is going to make a
mountain out of a molehill, I'll make it Mt.
Everest"; "what I'm going to do is put the
government's case to challenge, which is going to cost a
lot of money." Myers also continued to interrupt the
court. The district court therefore denied Myers's motion
to represent himself, explaining:
[W]hat I'm concerned about in this case is it's going
to get rolling and you're just going to go on and
interrupt people, interrupt the government. You're going
to interrupt me. You've interrupted me already several
times, and we're going to have difficulty seeing that
your presumption of innocence is held first in this matter
and that the government - let the record reflect this
gentleman is shaking his head.
I'm going to deny your motion. I don't think I can -
I don't think I can control you if you're
responded that he "intend[ed] to interlocutory appeal
immediately." The district court instructed Myers's
counsel to continue to represent Myers and asked Myers to
"understand" that his "role is to assist
her." Myers retorted, "No, sir, Your Honor, "
"Have a nice day, " and tried to walk away from the
court. Myers later moved again to represent himself,
"apologiz[ing]" for the interruptions and
"assur[ing]" the court that "this will not
happen again, " but the court denied the motion once
again, expressing its lack of "inclin[ation] to credit
his assurances based on his demonstrated conduct during the
last court proceeding." Myers then filed an
interlocutory appeal of that denial and also moved to stay
the district court's proceedings. We dismissed that
appeal because there was no final judgment to review.
also filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in this court to
require the district court judge to ...