Prosecutions for September 2013

Referring Agency: Immigration and Customs in Homeland Security

Number Latest Month 7,564
Percent Change from previous month -6.4
Percent Change from 1 year ago -5.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -1.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -13.9
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during September 2013 the government reported 7564 new prosecutions 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 down 6.4% over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants charged 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 2013 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was down (-5.4 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 1.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in prosecutions

The leveling out from the levels five years ago in prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of prosecutions 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 prosecutions of these matters in September 2013 was for "Immigration", accounting for 86.5 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (7.4%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In September 2013, 6291 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 September the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 8 U.S.C Section 1325 involving the "Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc.". This was the lead charge for 48.6 percent of all magistrate filings in September.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien" (37.2%).

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In September 2013, 1273 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during September there were an additional 1330 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 September.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during September 2013referred by the Immigration and Customs in Homeland Security.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
08 USC 1326 - Reentry of deported alien 1,448 1 1 1 More
08 USC 1324 - Bringing in and harboring certain aliens 222 2 2 2 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 158 3 3 3 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 149 4 5 7 More
21 USC 952 - Importation of controlled substances 148 5 4 6 More
18 USC 1546 - Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents 77 6 6 4 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 52 7 9 12 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 33 8 8 9 More
08 USC 1325 - Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc. 23 9 7 5 More
18 USC 1544 - Misuse of passport 18 10 10 22 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "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 prosecutions—up 18.8 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 922 that involves " Firearms; Unlawful acts ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—488 percent—was registered for prosecutions 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 prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 25.4 percent—was Misuse of passport (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1544 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 77 percent—was for filings 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 September 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 1017.4 prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.

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

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


Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Cal, S 13,451 361 1 2 3 More
N Mexico 12,838 215 2 5 5 More
Texas, W 9,023 461 3 1 2 More
Texas, S 6,849 480 4 3 1 More
Arizona 4,057 223 5 4 4 More
Wyoming 2,205 10 6 57 54 More
N Dakota 1,670 9 7 22 57 More
Ala, S 1,163 8 8 64 41 More
Fla, S 1,097 61 9 6 6 More
Utah 1,077 25 10 13 19 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The Southern District of California (San Diego)—with 13451 prosecutions as compared with 1017.4 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during September 2013. The Southern District of California (San Diego) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • The District of New Mexico ranked 2nd. The District of New Mexico was ranked 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 5 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • Western District of Texas (San Antonio) is now ranking 3rd. The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 for most frequent use five years ago.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Utah , now ranked 10th , and North Dakota at 7th In the same order, these districts ranked 13th and 22nd one year ago and 19th and 57th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of prosecutions compared to one year ago— 87 percent—was Southern District of Alabama (Mobile). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 172.4 percent—was North Dakota .

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of prosecutions— 37 percent—was Arizona .  But over the past five years, Southern District of Texas (Houston) showed the largest drop— 9.4 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 of this type during September 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Moses, Alia Texas, W 113 1 1 - More
Ramos, Nelva Gonzales Texas, S 72 2 12 - More
Hanen, Andrew S. Texas, S 59 3 9 11 More
Crane, Randy Texas, S 50 4 3 5 More
Hinojosa, Ricardo H. Texas, S 49 5 4 7 More
Alvarez, Micaela Texas, S 47 6 6 4 More
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 46 7 14 26 More
Montalvo, Frank Texas, W 44 8 8 8 More
Martinez, Philip Ray Texas, W 39 9 7 10 More
Sabraw, Dana Makoto Cal, S 38 10 27 20 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

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

  • Judge Alia Moses in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 113 defendants in cases. Judge Mosesalso appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago(ranked 1).

  • Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 2nd with 72 defendants in cases.

  • Judge Andrew S. Hanen in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 3rd with 59 defendants in cases. Judge Hanenalso appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago(ranked 9).

Report Generated: November 25, 2013
TRAC Copyright
Copyright 2013, TRAC Reports, Inc.

TRAC RSS Feed for this page Email Feed for this page Email this page