Convictions for April 2014

Referring Agency: Immigration and Customs in Homeland Security

Number Latest Month 9,165
Percent Change from previous month 19.6
Percent Change from 1 year ago -20.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -6.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -0.8
Table 1. Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2014 the government reported 9165 new convictions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Immigration and Customs in Homeland Security. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 19.6 percent over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (see Table 1).

When monthly 2014 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-20.2%). Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 6.4 percent from levels reported in 2009.

The leveling out in these cases is partly related to increases in the matters filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. If magistrate cases are excluded and only Federal District Court cases are counted, the overall decrease in convictions is 0.8 percent instead of 6.4 percent. The evidence suggests that part of the difference may be the result of improvements in the recording of the magistrate cases by the Justice Department.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Convictions

The leveling out from the levels five years ago in convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of convictions of this type recorded on a month-to-month basis. Where a prosecution was initially filed in U.S. Magistrate Court and then transferred to the U.S. District Court, the magistrate filing date was used since this provides an earlier indicator of actual trends. The superimposed line on the bars plots the six-month moving average so that natural fluctuations are smoothed out. The one and five-year rates of change in Table 1 and in the sections that follow are all based upon this six-month moving average.

Cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.

The largest number of convictions of these matters in April 2014 was for "Immigration", accounting for 89.2 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (7.4%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In April 2014, 6051 defendants in cases for these matters were filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. These courts handle less serious misdemeanor cases, including what are called "petty offenses." In addition, complaints are sometimes filed in the magistrate courts before an indictment or information is entered. In these cases, the matter starts in the magistrate courts and later moves to the district court where subsequent proceedings take place.

In the magistrate courts in April the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 involving "Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.". This was the lead charge for 68.1 percent of all magistrate convictions in April.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien" (26.2%).

Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In April 2014, 3114 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April there were an additional 0 defendants whose cases moved from the magistrate courts to the U.S. district courts after an indictment or information was filed. The sections which follow cover both sets of cases and therefore cover all matters filed in district court during April.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during April 2014 referred by the Immigration and Customs in Homeland Security.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien 1,949 1 1 1 More
08 USC 1324 - Bringing in and harboring certain aliens 223 2 2 2 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 179 3 3 3 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 146 4 5 7 More
21 USC 952 - Importation of controlled substances 140 5 4 5 More
18 USC 1546 - Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents 108 6 6 4 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 42 7 7 8 More
18 USC 1544 - Misuse of passport 34 8 10 25 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 26 9 9 12 More
08 USC 1325 - Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc. 25 10 8 6 More
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions

  • "Reentry of deported alien" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326) was the most frequent recorded lead charge. "Reentry of deported alien" (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1326) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Bringing in and harboring certain aliens" under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324. "Bringing in and harboring certain aliens" under Title 8 U.S.C Section 1324 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 841. "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions — up 42.4 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 that involves " Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc. ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 931.3 percent — was registered for convictions under " Misuse of passport " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1544 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago — down 9.7 percent — was " Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 66.1 percent — was for convictions where the lead charge was " Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc. " (Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2014 the Justice Department said the government obtained 1190.4 convictions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of convictions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3. Districts must have at least 5 convictions to receive a ranking.


Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
N Mexico 17,262 300 1 5 5 More
Arizona 12,232 668 2 4 4 More
Cal, S 10,304 288 3 3 3 More
Texas, W 8,794 483 4 2 2 More
Texas, S 6,211 461 5 1 1 More
N Dakota 3,773 22 6 20 25 More
Fla, S 2,233 129 7 6 6 More
S Dakota 1,728 12 8 48 34 More
Iowa, N 1,539 17 9 43 66 More
Vermont 1,342 7 10 57 66 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of New Mexico — with 17262 convictions as compared with 1190.4 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during April 2014. The District of New Mexico was ranked 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • The District of Arizona ranked 2nd. The District of Arizona was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 4 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • Southern District of California (San Diego) is now ranking 3rd. The Southern District of California (San Diego) was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 for most frequent use five years ago.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were North Dakota , now ranked 6th , and Northern District of Iowa (Cedar Rapids) at 9th In the same order, these districts ranked 20th and 43rd one year ago and 25th and 66th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago — 41.3 percent — was Southern District of Florida (Miami). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth — 233.3 percent — was Northern District of Iowa (Cedar Rapids).

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions — 22.8 percent — was Southern District of California (San Diego).  But over the past five years, South Dakota showed the largest drop — 47.4 percent.

Top Ranked District Judges

At any one time, there are about 680 federal District Court judges working in the United States. The judges recorded with the largest number of new crime cases resulting in convictions of this type during April 2014 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Brack, Robert C. N Mexico 132 1 1 4 More
Moses, Alia Texas, W 102 2 2 - More
Gonzales, Kenneth John N Mexico 90 3 - - More
Snow, G. Murray Arizona 70 4 69 68 More
Bolton, Susan Ritchie Arizona 69 5 52 42 More
Hinojosa, Ricardo H. Texas, S 65 6 4 8 More
Campbell, David G. Arizona 64 7 49 50 More
Crane, Randy Texas, S 63 8 3 10 More
Martinez, Philip Ray Texas, W 59 9 10 9 More
Wake, Neil Vincent Arizona 57 10 60 40 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

All 10 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of convictions per capit.

  • Judge Robert C. Brack in the District of New Mexico ranked 1st with 132 convicted in convictions. Judge Brack appeared in the top ten rankings one year (ranked 1) and five years ago (rank 4).

  • Judge Alia Moses in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd with 102 convicted in convictions. Judge Moses also appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago (ranked 2).

  • Judge Kenneth John Gonzales in the District of New Mexico ranked 3rd with 90 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: July 3, 2014
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