Convictions for January 2013

Referring Agency: Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Number Latest Month 736
Percent Change from previous month 23.3
Percent Change from 1 year ago 2.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -2.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -2.9
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2013 the government reported 736 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 up 23.3% 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 2013 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was up (2.3 percent). 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 2.9 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

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. 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 January 2013 was for "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major", accounting for 71.9 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (8.8%), " Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (6.1%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (5.6%), "Violence-Other" (3.7%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In January 2013, 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 January 2013, 735 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during January 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 January.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during January 2013referred by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 474 1 1 1 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 62 2 2 2 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 56 3 3 3 More
18 USC 924 - Firearms; Penalties 31 4 4 4 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 24 5 5 6 More
26 USC 5861 - Tax on Making Firearms - Prohibited acts 8 6 6 5 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 5 7 8 9 More
18 USC 111 - Assaulting, resisting, impeding certain officers 3 8 - 14 More
18 USC 842 - Explosives - Importation, manufacture, etc 3 8 10 7 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 3 8 39 35 More
18 USC 2119 - Carjacking 3 8 12 14 More
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 200 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 that involves " Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—283.9 percent—was registered for convictions under " Hobbs Act " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 10.9 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— 68 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Explosives - Importation, manufacture, etc " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 842 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In January 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 287.3 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  
Tenn, W 1,544 20 1 11 19 More
N Mexico 1,254 21 2 29 52 More
Maryland 1,116 53 3 5 11 More
N Car, E 1,017 31 4 2 20 More
Ga, S 903 11 5 9 38 More
Alaska 876 5 6 67 80 More
W Virg, N 804 6 7 72 67 More
La, M 762 5 8 75 58 More
Kansas 681 16 9 27 13 More
Nevada 590 13 10 26 34 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The Western District of Tennessee (Memphis)—with 1544 convictions as compared with 287.3 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during January 2013.

  • The District of New Mexico ranked 2nd.

  • District of Maryland is now ranking 3rd. The District of Maryland was ranked 5 a year ago.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Western District of Tennessee (Memphis), now ranked 1st , and Nevada at 10th In the same order, these districts ranked 11th and 26th one year ago and 19th and 34th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 229.4 percent—was Northern District of West Virginia (Wheeling). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 150 percent—was Alaska .

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 38.9 percent—was Southern District of Georgia (Savannah).  But over the past five years, Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) showed the largest drop— 26.7 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 January 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Legg, Benson Everett Maryland 17 1 More
Garcia, Orlando Luis Texas, W 13 2 More
Collins, Raner Christercunean Arizona 11 3 More
Goldsmith, Mark Allan Mich, E 10 4 More
Boyle, Terrence William N Car, E 9 5 More
Anderson, Stanley Thomas Tenn, W 9 5 More
Blackburn, Sharon Lovelace Ala, N 7 7 More
Bennett, Richard D. Maryland 7 7 More
Kays, David Gregory Mo, W 7 7 More
Crone, Marcia A. Texas, E 7 7 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 4 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 6 judges were from other districts.

  • Judge Benson Everett Legg in the District of Maryland ranked 1st with 17 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Orlando Luis Garcia in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd with 13 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Raner Christercunean Collins in the District of Arizona ranked 3rd with 11 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: March 5, 2013
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