Convictions for January 2013

Referring Agency: Drug Enforcement Administration

Number Latest Month 1,143
Percent Change from previous month 25.3
Percent Change from 1 year ago -1.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -7.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -7.0
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2013 the government reported 1143 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 up 25.3% 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 only slightly down (-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 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 "Drugs-Drug Trafficking", accounting for 45 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (32.4%), " Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (19.8%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In 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, 1142 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 Drug Enforcement Administration.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 444 1 1 1 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 395 2 2 2 More
21 USC 963 - Attempt and conspiracy 15 3 3 3 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 9 4 4 4 More
46 USC 70506 - Penalties 9 4 12 18 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 8 6 6 5 More
18 USC 1512 - Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant 4 7 37 44 More
46 USC 70503 - Possession control substance on vessel subject to jurisdiction of US 4 7 18 7 More
18 USC 1201 - Kidnaping 3 9 37 - More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 3 9 8 12 More
21 USC 843 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts C 3 9 7 6 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 "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 963. "Attempt and conspiracy" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 963 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 500 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1201 that involves " Kidnaping ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—400 percent—was registered for convictions under " Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1512 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 45.5 percent—was Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts C (Title 21 U.S.C Section 843 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 42.9 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Possession control substance on vessel subject to jurisdiction of US " (Title 46 U.S.C Section 70503 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In January 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 446.4 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 3,822 64 1 4 7 More
N Dakota 1,855 10 2 72 60 More
La, E 1,724 23 3 49 25 More
Tenn, W 1,622 21 4 51 45 More
Ark, E 1,579 21 5 31 42 More
Vermont 1,544 8 6 68 88 More
Ken, E 1,494 27 7 9 25 More
Texas, W 1,370 70 8 2 1 More
Maryland 1,369 65 9 20 30 More
Iowa, N 1,288 14 10 24 40 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of New Mexico—with 3822 convictions as compared with 446.4 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during January 2013. The District of New Mexico was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 7 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • The District of North Dakota ranked 2nd.

  • Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Maryland , now ranked 9th , and Northern District of Iowa (Cedar Rapids) at 10th In the same order, these districts ranked 20th and 24th one year ago and 30th and 40th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 153.7 percent—was Western District of Tennessee (Memphis). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 485.7 percent—was Vermont .

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 34.4 percent—was Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington).  But over the past five years, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans) showed the largest drop— 26.2 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 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Covington, Virginia Maria Hernandez Fla, M 22 1 118 50 More
Yeakel, Earl Leroy, III Texas, W 20 2 99 338 More
Coffman, Jennifer B. Ken, E 17 3 77 - More
Ramos, Nelva Gonzales Texas, S 15 4 307 - More
Blake, Catherine C. Maryland 13 5 107 221 More
Cooke, Marcia G. Fla, S 12 6 176 104 More
Robinson, Julie A. Kansas 11 7 397 133 More
Moses, Alia Texas, W 11 7 1 - More
Adams, Henry Lee, Jr. Fla, M 10 9 640 190 More
Berrigan, Helen Ginger La, E 10 9 640 382 More
Titus, Roger W. Maryland 10 9 307 - More
Aycock, Sharion Miss, N 10 9 99 - More
Erickson, Ralph R. N Dakota 10 9 51 20 More
Johnson, William Paul N Mexico 10 9 33 50 More
Polster, Dan A. Ohio, N 10 9 - 338 More
Means, Terry R. Texas, N 10 9 77 150 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 8 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 16 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Virginia Maria Hernandez Covington in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) ranked 1st with 22 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Earl Leroy Yeakel, III in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 2nd with 20 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Jennifer B. Coffman in the Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington) ranked 3rd with 17 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: March 5, 2013
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