Convictions for October 2012

Referring Agency: Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Number Latest Month 641
Percent Change from previous month -22.2
Percent Change from 1 year ago 1.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -5.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -5.4
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2012 the government reported 641 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 22.2% 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 2012 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was only slightly up (1.4 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 5.5 percent from levels reported in 2007.

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 October 2012 was for "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major", accounting for 62.1 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" ( 12.2%), "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (10.3%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (9.8%), "Violence-Other" (3.4%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In October 2012, 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 October 2012, 641 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during October 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 October.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during October 2012referred by the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 352 1 1 1 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 67 2 2 2 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 47 3 3 3 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 26 4 5 7 More
18 USC 924 - Firearms; Penalties 25 5 4 4 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 6 6 8 6 More
26 USC 5841 - Registration of firearms 6 6 18 11 More
26 USC 5861 - Tax on Making Firearms - Prohibited acts 6 6 6 5 More
18 USC 844 - Explosives - Importation and storage of explosives 5 9 7 8 More
18 USC 554 - Smuggling goods from the United States 3 10 - - More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 3 10 11 11 More
18 USC 2342 - Trafficking in contraband cigarettes Unlawful acts 3 10 13 10 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 266.7 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962 that involves " RICO - prohibited activities ". This was the same statute that had the largest increase—312.5 %—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 56.8 percent—was Explosives - Importation and storage of explosives (Title 18 U.S.C Section 844 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 46.8 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2012 the Justice Department said the government obtained 250.5 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  
Okla, E 1,804 11 1 82 89 More
Tenn, W 1,081 14 2 9 28 More
Okla, N 1,071 9 3 63 54 More
Alaska 1,051 6 4 68 85 More
Virg, W 1,017 18 5 25 7 More
Montana 985 8 6 75 45 More
Vermont 965 5 7 46 69 More
Ill, S 942 10 8 55 74 More
N Car, M 906 21 9 11 14 More
Mo, E 866 21 10 27 11 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The Eastern District of Oklahoma (Muskogee)—with 1804 convictions as compared with 250.5 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during October 2012.

  • The Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) ranked 2nd. The Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) was ranked 9 a year ago.

  • Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro), now ranked 9th , and Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) at 5th In the same order, these districts ranked 11th and 25th one year ago and 14th and 7th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 166.7 percent—was Montana . Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 200 percent—was Alaska .

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 21.2 percent—was Vermont .  But over the past five years, Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa) showed the largest drop— 31.4 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 October 2012 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Dimitrouleas, William P. Fla, S 14 1 More
Nelson, Susan Richard Minnesota 9 2 More
Mattice, Harry Sandlin, Jr. Tenn, E 9 2 More
Jones, James Parker Virg, W 9 2 More
Tilley, Norwood Carlton, Jr. N Car, M 7 5 More
Wake, Neil Vincent Arizona 6 6 More
Collier, Curtis Lynn Tenn, E 6 6 More
Urbanski, Michael Francis Virg, W 6 6 More
Reagan, Michael Joseph Ill, S 5 9 More
Hood, Joseph Martin Ken, E 5 9 More
Goldsmith, Mark Allan Mich, E 5 9 More
Autrey, Henry Edward Mo, E 5 9 More
Cebull, Richard F. Montana 5 9 More
Osteen, William Lindsay, Jr. N Car, M 5 9 More
Cogburn, Max Oliver, Jr. N Car, W 5 9 More
Polster, Dan A. Ohio, N 5 9 More
Wells, Lesley Brooks Ohio, N 5 9 More
White, Ronald A. Okla, E 5 9 More
Frizzell, Gregory Kent Okla, N 5 9 More
Wooten, Terry L. S Car 5 9 More
Davis, Leonard E. Texas, E 5 9 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 9 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 12 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 21 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in the Southern District of Florida (Miami) ranked 1st with 14 convicted in convictions.

  • Judges Susan Richard Nelson in the District of Minnesota, Harry Sandlin Mattice, Jr. in the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville) and James Parker Jones in the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 2nd with 9 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: February 6, 2013
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