Convictions for April 2013

Referring Agency: Drug Enforcement Administration

Number Latest Month 1,110
Percent Change from previous month -2.7
Percent Change from 1 year ago -2.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -7.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -7.5
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2013 the government reported 1110 new convictions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Drug Enforcement Administration. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 2.7% 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 (-2.1 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 7.6 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 April 2013 was for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking", accounting for 47.7 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (31.6%), " Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (17.9%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In April 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 April 2013, 1107 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April 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 April.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during April 2013referred by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 473 1 1 1 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 365 2 2 2 More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 14 3 6 20 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 6 4 4 4 More
18 USC 1961 - RICO - definitions 6 4 - - More
21 USC 963 - Attempt and conspiracy 6 4 3 3 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 5 7 6 6 More
46 USC 70506 - Penalties 4 8 12 30 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 3 9 26 30 More
18 USC 924 - Firearms; Penalties 3 9 5 7 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" (Title 21 U.S.C Section 841) was the most frequent recorded lead charge. "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" (Title 21 U.S.C Section 841) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846. "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "RICO - prohibited activities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962. "RICO - prohibited activities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962 was ranked 6 a year ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions—up 66.7 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 that involves " Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—900 percent—was registered for convictions under " Penalties " (Title 46 U.S.C Section 70506 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 60 percent—was Firearms; Penalties (Title 18 U.S.C Section 924 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 17 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 432.7 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  
Ark, E 1,579 21 1 15 43 More
Tenn, W 1,544 20 2 53 60 More
Texas, W 1,507 77 3 1 1 More
N Dakota 1,484 8 4 79 58 More
Wash, E 1,386 17 5 74 63 More
Tenn, E 1,242 26 6 12 26 More
Mo, E 1,237 30 7 24 11 More
Texas, E 1,223 36 8 13 10 More
N Mexico 1,194 20 9 6 7 More
Vermont 1,158 6 10 51 77 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock)—with 1579 convictions as compared with 432.7 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during April 2013.

  • The Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) ranked 2nd.

  • 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 1 for most frequent use five years ago.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville), now ranked 6th , and Eastern District of Texas (Tyler) at 8th In the same order, these districts ranked 12th and 13th one year ago and 26th and 10th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 262.2 percent—was Western District of Tennessee (Memphis). This was the same district that had the largest increase— 262.2 percent—when compared with five years ago.

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 32.4 percent—was Western District of Texas (San Antonio).  But over the past five years, Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) showed the largest drop— 25.9 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 April 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Dominguez, Daniel R. Puer Rico 30 1 17 331 More
Sippel, Rodney W. Mo, E 22 2 149 97 More
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 21 3 2 2 More
Moses, Alia Texas, W 19 4 1 - More
Crone, Marcia A. Texas, E 18 5 4 18 More
Jordan, Robert Leon Tenn, E 15 6 8 433 More
Wright, Otis D., II Cal, C 14 7 353 - More
Biery, Samuel Frederick, Jr. Texas, W 14 7 113 125 More
Wright, Susan Webber Ark, E 12 9 39 241 More
McCalla, Jon Phipps Tenn, W 12 9 78 331 More
McBryde, John H. Texas, N 12 9 39 331 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 3 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Daniel R. Dominguez in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 1st with 30 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Rodney W. Sippel in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 2nd with 22 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Robert A. Junell in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 3rd with 21 convicted in convictions. Judge Junell appeared in the top ten rankings one year (ranked 2) and five years ago (rank 2).

Report Generated: June 10, 2013
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