Convictions for February 2014

Referring Agency: Drug Enforcement Administration

Number Latest Month 903
Percent Change from previous month -14.7
Percent Change from 1 year ago -2.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -13.7
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -13.7
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2014 the government reported 903 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 14.7% 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 2014 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-2.4 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 13.7 percent from levels reported in 2009.

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 February 2014 was for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking", accounting for 52.5 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (28.5%), " Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (15.2%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In February 2014, 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 February 2014, 900 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February 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 February.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during February 2014referred by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 435 1 1 1 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 259 2 2 2 More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 13 3 6 - More
21 USC 963 - Attempt and conspiracy 11 4 4 4 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 6 5 3 3 More
18 USC 846 - Explosives - Additional powers of the Secretary 5 6 9 19 More
21 USC 843 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts C 5 6 13 7 More
21 USC 952 - Importation of controlled substances 5 6 7 11 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 5 6 30 38 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 3 10 5 8 More
46 USC 70503 - Possession control substance on vessel subject to jurisdiction of US 3 10 12 9 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 250 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 31 U.S.C Section 5324 that involves " Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir ". This was the same statute that had the largest increase—600 %—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 30.4 percent—was Laundering of monetary instruments (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956 ). This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 33.3 %—when compared with five years ago.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In February 2014 the Justice Department said the government obtained 344 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  
N Mexico 2,071 36 1 8 7 More
Texas, W 1,948 107 2 2 1 More
Vermont 1,725 9 3 50 78 More
Ga, M 1,553 26 4 61 65 More
Ark, W 1,188 13 5 55 63 More
Iowa, N 1,177 13 6 28 33 More
Texas, E 1,011 31 7 4 9 More
Tenn, E 940 20 8 11 14 More
Tenn, W 910 12 9 13 60 More
Utah 841 20 10 36 51 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of New Mexico—with 2071 convictions as compared with 344 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during February 2014. The District of New Mexico was ranked 8 a year ago, while it was ranked 7 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd. The Western District of Texas (San Antonio) was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • District of Vermont is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville), now ranked 8th , and Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) at 9th In the same order, these districts ranked 11th and 13th one year ago and 14th and 60th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 135.5 percent—was Middle District of Georgia (Macon). This was the same district that had the largest increase— 143.3 percent—when compared with five years ago.

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 50 percent—was Western District of Tennessee (Memphis).  But over the past five years, Eastern District of Texas (Tyler) showed the largest drop— 20.7 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 February 2014 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Moses, Alia Texas, W 39 1 1 - More
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 28 2 4 2 More
Crone, Marcia A. Texas, E 20 3 2 12 More
Treadwell, Marc Thomas Ga, M 15 4 526 - More
Brack, Robert C. N Mexico 14 5 24 7 More
Nuffer, David Utah 14 5 80 - More
Hendren, Jimm Larry Ark, W 11 7 39 96 More
Bennett, Mark W. Iowa, N 10 8 13 17 More
Vratil, Kathryn Hoefer Kansas 10 8 459 422 More
Greer, J. Ronnie Tenn, E 10 8 8 26 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 1 judges were from other districts.

  • Judge Alia Moses in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 39 convicted in convictions. Judge Mosesalso appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago(ranked 1).

  • Judge Robert A. Junell in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd with 28 convicted in convictions. Judge Junell appeared in the top ten rankings one year (ranked 4) and five years ago (rank 2).

  • Judge Marcia A. Crone in the Eastern District of Texas (Tyler) ranked 3rd with 20 convicted in convictions. Judge Cronealso appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago(ranked 2).

Report Generated: April 24, 2014
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