Prosecutions for July 2013

Referring Agency: Drug Enforcement Administration

Number Latest Month 1,107
Percent Change from previous month -4.1
Percent Change from 1 year ago -1.8
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -14.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -17.0
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during July 2013 the government reported 1107 new prosecutions 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 4.1% over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants charged 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 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was only slightly down (-1.8 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 14.1 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in prosecutions

The decrease from the levels five years ago in prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of prosecutions 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 prosecutions of these matters in July 2013 was for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking", accounting for 44.6 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (28.5%), " Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (22.4%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In July 2013, 213 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.

In the magistrate courts in July the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 involving the "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A". This was the lead charge for 54.9 percent of all magistrate filings in July.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy" (32.4%).

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In July 2013, 894 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during July there were an additional 183 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 July.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

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

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 368 1 1 1 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 331 2 2 2 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 10 3 4 6 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 8 4 3 3 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 7 5 6 10 More
21 USC 843 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts C 5 6 14 9 More
31 USC 5313 - Reports on domestic coins and currency transaction 5 6 35 - More
18 USC 1512 - Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant 4 8 24 35 More
18 USC 924 - Firearms; Penalties 3 9 5 13 More
21 USC 963 - Attempt and conspiracy 3 9 9 4 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "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 "Laundering of monetary instruments" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956. "Laundering of monetary instruments" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1956 was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 6 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in prosecutions—up 400 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 31 U.S.C Section 5313 that involves " Reports on domestic coins and currency transaction ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—300 percent—was registered for prosecutions 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 prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 30.8 percent—was Firearms; Penalties (Title 18 U.S.C Section 924 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 51.2 percent—was for filings where the lead charge was " Attempt and conspiracy " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 963 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In July 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 421 prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of prosecutions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3. Districts must have at least 5 prosecutions to receive a ranking.


Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Wyoming 3,969 18 1 90 41 More
N Dakota 3,710 20 2 48 63 More
Tenn, W 3,012 39 3 17 32 More
N Mexico 2,508 42 4 8 6 More
Kansas 1,788 42 5 4 34 More
Alaska 1,577 9 6 63 63 More
Tenn, M 1,561 29 7 76 80 More
Maine 1,456 16 8 33 58 More
Texas, E 1,359 40 9 6 13 More
Texas, W 1,292 66 10 1 1 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of Wyoming—with 3969 prosecutions as compared with 421 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during July 2013.

  • The District of North Dakota ranked 2nd.

  • Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Western District of Tennessee (Memphis), now ranked 3rd , and Maine at 8th In the same order, these districts ranked 17th and 33rd one year ago and 32nd and 58th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of prosecutions compared to one year ago— 2200 percent—was Wyoming . Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 318.8 percent—was Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville).

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of prosecutions— 56 percent—was Kansas .  But over the past five years, New Mexico showed the largest drop— 12.1 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 of this type during July 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Murguia, Carlos Kansas 28 1 7 244 More
Garcia Marmolejo, Marina Texas, S 28 1 57 - More
Solis, Jorge Antonio Texas, N 26 3 278 580 More
Haynes, William Joseph, Jr. Tenn, M 24 4 374 420 More
Crane, Randy Texas, S 23 5 16 153 More
Hovland, Daniel L. N Dakota 18 6 146 310 More
O'Connor, Reed Charles Texas, N 18 6 33 - More
Montalvo, Frank Texas, W 18 6 14 29 More
Skavdahl, Scott W. Wyoming 17 9 - - More
Stewart, Brian Theadore Utah 16 10 199 202 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 5 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings per capita, while the remaining 5 judges were from other districts.

  • Judges Carlos Murguia in the District of Kansas and Marina Garcia Marmolejo in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 1st with 28 defendants in cases. Judge Murguiaalso appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago(ranked 7).

  • Judge Jorge Antonio Solis in the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) ranked 3rd with 26 defendants in cases.

Report Generated: September 23, 2013
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