Mayzak v. United States

Decision Date17 October 1968
Docket NumberNo. 25719.,25719.
PartiesWilliam Stanley MAYZAK, Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit

Shalle Stephen Fine, Miami, Fla., for appellant.

Theodore Klein, William A. Daniel, Jr., Asst. U. S. Attys., William A. Meadows, Jr., U. S. Atty., Miami, Fla., for appellee.

Before GOLDBERG, and AINSWORTH, Circuit Judges and SPEARS, District Judge.

GOLDBERG, Circuit Judge:

This is an appeal from a jury verdict in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida which found the defendant, William Stanley Mayzak, guilty of transporting a stolen motor vehicle in interstate commerce in violation of the Dyer Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 2312. The events leading up to Mayzak's conviction have their genesis in mid-October, 1967, when Mayzak was employed by United Core, Inc. to do work on an oil rig near Magnolia, Texas. In conjunction with this employment, Mayzak was given the use of a 1961 Dodge pickup truck, and permission to drive the truck to the nearest city for food and lodging.

Several days after he was hired, Mayzak drove the pickup to Houston, Texas, and there decided he would not return to the rig, but drive on into Louisiana. In fact, he drove on until he reached Miami Beach, Florida, where, on the morning of October 28, 1967, he was stopped by a police officer and questioned as to his identity, driver's license, and ownership of the vehicle. When he could not produce proof of ownership he was taken to the police station and detained there while a teletyped inquiry was sent to Washington in order to determine whether or not the pickup truck was stolen. After receipt of an affirmative reply, Mayzak was formally charged with disorderly conduct, informed that the F.B.I. would be notified about the truck, and given a full and complete Miranda warning. The warning was read to Mayzak from a "Miranda card" which the City of Miami Beach issued to all of its police officers. Mayzak indicated that he understood the significance of the warning.

Two days after Mayzak's arrest, a special investigator for the F.B.I. interviewed Mayzak in the Auto Theft Squad office of the Miami Beach Police Department. The agent first identified himself; then stated that his purpose in seeing Mayzak was to inquire into the interstate transportation of a motor vehicle. Next he handed Mayzak a form which enumerated Mayzak's constitutional rights, and asked Mayzak if he understood it. Mayzak said he did and that he had no objection to the interview. The F.B.I. agent then reiterated for Mayzak's benefit the contents of the form. He warned Mayzak that his statements could be used against him in court, that Mayzak had a right to remain silent, that he had a right to retained or court appointed counsel prior to and during any questioning, and that the interview would have to be terminated whenever Mayzak so requested. The only deviation from the standard Miranda warning was the further statement by the F.B.I. agent that the F.B.I. could not furnish Mayzak with counsel until federal charges had been brought against him.

Mayzak replied that he wished to talk. He signed a declaration which stated that he had been informed of his rights, understood them, did not want a lawyer, and consented of his own free will to answer questions. He never asked for a lawyer. Instead he volunteered the information that he had driven the pickup from Houston, Texas to Miami, Florida without the permission of his employer. He said he did so knowing the truck was entrusted to him with the understanding that it not leave the state. At trial these statements were admitted into evidence after defendant's motion to suppress was denied. Also admitted into evidence over objection was a Certificate of Title from the State of Texas placing ownership of the pickup truck in Mayzak's former employer, United Core, Inc., and kept in the files of its Vice-President and General Manager, Mr. Johnnie Thorp. The jury found that Mayzak had illegally transported a stolen vehicle in interstate commerce.

Five specifications of error are urged on this appeal. First, we are told that Mayzak merely indulged in a "joy ride" when he drove from Houston to Miami Beach and that a "joy ride" is not transportation in "interstate commerce" as that term is used in the Dyer Act. As a corollary to this proposition, defendant argues that a non-larcenous taking is not a Dyer Act offense because not embraced by the statutory term, "stolen." Defendant further objects to both the admission into evidence of the Texas Certificate of Title, and to the testimony of Mr. Thorp. Defendant claims Thorp did not sufficiently demonstrate his authority to speak on behalf of United Core, Inc. Finally, it is claimed that the use at trial of Mayzak's in-custody statements violated his constitutional rights.

None of these claims appear to have any real substance. Defendant's allegation that a "joy ride" is not transportation in interstate commerce seems to be premised on the notion that the Dyer Act reaches only the theft of motor vehicles which are subsequently sold for profit across state lines. But a ride does not have to be unjoyous or business oriented to be within the Dyer Act's confines. It has long been the law that the transportation of a motor vehicle from one state to another is sufficient in itself to constitute transportation in interstate commerce. Whitaker v. United States, 9 Cir. 1...

To continue reading

Request your trial
28 cases
  • U.S. v. Chatham, 77-5226
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • February 27, 1978
    ...United States v. Meek, 388 F.2d 936 (7 Cir. 1968), cert. denied 391 U.S. 951, 88 S.Ct. 1855, 20 L.Ed.2d 866 (1968); Mayzak v. United States, 402 F.2d 152 (5 Cir. 1968); McCarthy v. United States, 403 F.2d 935 (10 Cir. 1968); Dennison v. United States, 385 F.2d 905 (5 Cir. 1967); Love v. Uni......
  • Klingler v. United States, 19209.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • April 3, 1969
    ...the custodial interrogation were erroneously admitted into evidence. A similar contention was made and rejected in Mayzak v. United States, 402 F.2d 152 (5th Cir. 1968). The opinion, with which we agree, stated in "* * * The fact that the F.B.I. agent truthfully informed Mayzak that the F.B......
  • State v. Maluia, 5608
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Hawai'i
    • September 11, 1975 explain when the court would appoint an attorney for the defendant, is not supported by Miranda. As stated in Mayzak v. United States, 402 F.2d 152, 155 (5th Cir. 1968): 'Stripped of its cry of pain, defendant's contention is simply that he was entitled to be warned not only of his right......
  • United States v. Rawls, 7263.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • July 24, 1974
    ...United States v. Lamia, 429 F.2d 373 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 400 U.S. 907, 91 S.Ct. 150, 27 L.Ed.2d 146 (1970); Mayzak v. United States, 402 F.2d 152 (5th Cir. 1968); Emler v. State, Ind., 286 N.E.2d 408 (1972); Rouse v. State, 255 Ind. 670, 266 N.E.2d 209 (1971); People v. Williams, 131 I......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT