Convictions for May 2013

Referring Agency: Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Number Latest Month 625
Percent Change from previous month -8.5
Percent Change from 1 year ago -2.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -11.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -11.6
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during May 2013 the government reported 625 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 8.5% 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 down (-2.9 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 11.6 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

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 May 2013 was for "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major", accounting for 62.7 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (11.8%), " Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (10.7%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (6.4%), "Violence-Other" (3.8%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In May 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 May 2013, 625 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during May 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 May.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

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

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 357 1 1 1 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 65 2 2 2 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 58 3 3 3 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 20 4 5 6 More
18 USC 924 - Firearms; Penalties 18 5 4 4 More
26 USC 5861 - Tax on Making Firearms - Prohibited acts 12 6 6 5 More
18 USC 844 - Explosives - Importation and storage of explosives 8 7 8 10 More
18 USC 842 - Explosives - Importation, manufacture, etc 4 8 12 8 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 2 9 25 24 More
18 USC 2342 - Trafficking in contraband cigarettes Unlawful acts 2 9 9 9 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 150 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113 that involves " Bank robbery and incidental crimes ". This was the same statute that had the largest increase—150 %—when compared with five years ago.

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 45 percent—was Trafficking in contraband cigarettes Unlawful acts (Title 18 U.S.C Section 2342 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 46 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Firearms; Penalties " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 924 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In May 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 244.3 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 22 20 More
Virg, W 1,300 23 2 40 21 More
N Car, M 1,122 26 3 11 36 More
Alaska 1,051 6 4 65 83 More
Vermont 965 5 5 58 67 More
La, M 915 6 6 54 70 More
Tenn, E 764 16 7 10 13 More
N Car, E 722 22 8 4 21 More
Ken, E 720 13 9 42 24 More
Iowa, S 704 10 10 38 27 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The Western District of Tennessee (Memphis)—with 1544 convictions as compared with 244.3 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during May 2013.

  • The Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 2nd.

  • Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro), now ranked 3rd , and Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) at 1st In the same order, these districts ranked 11th and 22nd one year ago and 36th and 20th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 72.1 percent—was Western District of Tennessee (Memphis). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 190 percent—was Alaska .

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 May 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Jensen, Delwen Lowell Cal, N 14 1 More
Beaty, James A., Jr. N Car, M 11 2 More
Jones, James Parker Virg, W 11 2 More
Caldwell, Karen K. Ken, E 10 4 More
Boyle, Terrence William N Car, E 10 4 More
O'Connor, Reed Charles Texas, N 9 6 More
Anderson, Stanley Thomas Tenn, W 8 7 More
Schroeder, Thomas D. N Car, M 7 8 More
Gelpi, Gustavo Antonio, Jr. Puer Rico 7 8 More
Koh, Lucy Haeran Cal, N 6 10 More
Cerezo, Carmen Consuelo Puer Rico 6 10 More
Besosa, Francisco Augusto Puer Rico 6 10 More
McCalla, Jon Phipps Tenn, W 6 10 More
Urbanski, Michael Francis Virg, W 6 10 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 8 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. (Because of ties, there were a total of 14 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Delwen Lowell Jensen in the Northern District of California (San Francisco) ranked 1st with 14 convicted in convictions.

  • Judges James A. Beaty, Jr. in the Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro) and James Parker Jones in the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 2nd with 11 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: July 22, 2013
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