Convictions for December 2017
Referring Agency: Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Table 1. Criminal Convictions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during December 2017 the government reported 524 new convictions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 9.3 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 2017 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of convictions was up (9.4%).
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 14.1 percent from levels reported in 2012.
Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Convictions
The decrease 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. To view trends year-by-year rather than month-by-month, see TRAC's annual report series for a broader picture.
Cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.
The largest number of convictions of these matters in December 2017 was for "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major", accounting for 70.2 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (12.6%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (6.3%), "Violence-Other" (4.2%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (3.6%).
See Figure 2.
Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions
Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In December 2017, no 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.
Convictions in U.S. District Courts
In December 2017, 523 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during December 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 December.
Top Ranked Lead Charges
Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters
filed in U.S. District Court during December 2017 referred by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions
"Firearms; Unlawful acts" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 922) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Firearms; Unlawful acts" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 922) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "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 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846.
"Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 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 250 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 554
that involves " Smuggling goods from the United States ".
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 200 percent — was registered for
convictions under " Penalty for simple possession " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 844 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in convictions compared to one year ago — down 81.3 percent — was
" Penalty for simple possession " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 844 ).
Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 82.8 percent — was
for convictions where the lead charge was " Distribution or manufacturing in or near schools a " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 860 ).
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In December 2017 the Justice Department said the government obtained 194.2 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.
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)
The Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro) — with 976 convictions as compared with 194.2 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during December 2017.
The Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro) was ranked 5 a year ago, while it was ranked 7 for most frequent use five years ago.
The Northern District of West Virginia (Wheeling) ranked 2nd.
Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) is now ranking 3rd.
Recent entrants to the top 10 list were
Northern District of Indiana (South Bend), now ranked
, and Western District of North Carolina (Asheville)
In the same order, these districts ranked 11th and 13th one year ago and 33rd and 37th five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago — 177.8 percent — was
Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge).
Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth — 163 percent — was
Northern District of Indiana (South Bend).
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in the rate of convictions — 33.3 percent — was
Middle District of Georgia (Macon).
But over the past five years,
Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh)
showed the largest drop — 45.8 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 December 2017 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 6 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of convictions per capita, while the remaining 4 judges were from other districts.
Judge James C. Dever, III in the Eastern District of North Carolina (Raleigh) ranked 1st with 11 convicted in convictions.
Judge Max Oliver Cogburn, Jr. in the Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) ranked 2nd with 9 convicted in convictions.
Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks in the District of South Carolina ranked 3rd with 7 convicted in convictions.
Report Generated: January 24, 2018