WISEMAN, Chief Judge.
James Clifford Mounts appeals from a restitution order against him issued under the Victim and Witness Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 3579, 3580 (1982). Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of being a convicted felon receiving explosives which had been transported in interstate commerce. He contends that the imposition of restitution as part of his sentence is unlawful because the damages upon which restitution is based are not directly attributable to the count on which he pleaded guilty. We disagree and affirm the order of restitution.
The following facts were elicited by the district court at an evidentiary hearing.
On April 26, 1984, Mounts and a confederate burglarized the Ray Reams Action Auto Auction in London, Kentucky, taking several items of business equipment. According to testimony, Mounts attempted to blow up Action Auto's safe, using explosives which he had taken from a mine in an adjoining county. The business suffered severe damage. Mounts fled the scene in a Corvette which he had stolen from Action Auto. Mounts later collided with a pickup truck owned by Robert L. Adams, damaging both vehicles.
Mounts was indicted on five separate counts. Four counts charged Mounts and his co-defendant with offenses relating to their use of explosives, one of which involved the damage inflicted on Action Auto's building. Count 5 charges Mounts alone with being a convicted felon receiving explosives transported in interstate commerce.
The Restitution Order
The Victim and Witness Protection Act allows a trial judge, as part of the sentencing process, to order a defendant to make restitution "to any victim of the offense." 18 U.S.C. § 3579(a)(1) (1982). Neither the term "offense" nor "victim" is defined in the VWPA.
This Court has previously adopted a narrow definition of "offense" holding that "[a] natural construction of this language would require that the defendant make restitution only to victims of the offense for which he was convicted." United States v. Durham, 755 F.2d 511, 512 (6th Cir.1985).
In the same case, however, this Court adopted a broader definition of "victim."
Durham, 755 F.2d at 513.
The statute directs that restitution awards be "as fair as possible to the victim...." 18 U.S.C. § 3579(d).
Here the offense to which the plea of guilty was accepted was a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 842(i)(1), receipt of an explosive by a convicted felon. This section was enacted as a part of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Pub.L.No. 91-452, 84 Stat. 941 (1971). Excerpts from the legislative history provide insight into the intent of Congress:
H.R.Rep. No. 1549, 91st Cong., 2d Sess., reprinted in 1970 U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News 4007, 4013.
H.R.Rep. No. 1549, 91st Cong., 2d Sess., reprinted in 1970 U.S.Code Cong. & Ad.News 4007, 4043-44.
It is clear from this legislative history that Ray Reams Action Auto Auction was among the contemplated class of victims of misuse of dynamite, and that defendant Mounts was among those who presented a "special danger to the public safety and welfare" by the receipt of dynamite. Mounts' claim that he must plead guilty to or be found guilty of the offense of actual destruction of the building (dismissed under the plea agreement as Count 2) is without merit under the rationale of Durham. Reams was victimized by the misuse of the dynamite that the statute was designed to prevent Mounts from receiving, because of the potentiality of misuse by a convicted felon.
The damage to Reams' automobile, stolen in the burglary and subsequently damaged, presents a more difficult problem under the restrictive definition of "offense" in Durham, yet it is easily disposed of under the expansive definition of "victim." The burglary, misuse of dynamite in blowing up the safe, and theft of the Corvette for purposes of escape were an uninterrupted series of events surrounding the criminal activity of appellant. Stealing a car to escape the scene of a misuse of explosives unlawfully received is not so attenuated as to elude the definition of Durham, i.e., "a `victim' [is] a person who suffered injury as a result of the defendant's actions that surrounded the commission of the offense, regardless of whether the actions are elements of the offense charged." 755 F.2d at 513.
The broad definition of "victim" we adopt here comports with the remedial purposes of the Victim and Witness Protection Act. Perpetrators of crime should bear the full consequences of their criminal acts to the extent that this is possible. Neither innocent victims nor society should bear any of the resultant costs.
We note that Judge Siler held an evidentiary hearing and that the preponderance of the evidence favored his finding that appellant received and misused the dynamite and stole the Corvette for purposes of escape. 18 U.S.C. § 3580(d). We also note that no constitutional questions are raised by the appeal and we, therefore, do not address them.
Finally, Mounts argues that the restitution order was improper because he is indigent. While a defendant's ability to pay is a consideration in the determination of restitution, 18 U.S.C. § 3580(a), indigency is not a bar to an order of restitution. See, e.g., United States v. Ruffen, 780 F.2d 1493(9th
The district court is AFFIRMED.