Convictions for October 2017

Referring Agency: Drug Enforcement Administration

Number Latest Month 675
Percent Change from previous month -28.0
Percent Change from 1 year ago -4.7
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
-25.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
-25.1
Table 1. Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2017 the government reported 675 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 28 percent 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 2017 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was down (-4.7%). 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 25.2 percent from levels reported in 2012.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

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 October 2017 was for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking", accounting for 48.7 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (32.1%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (13.9%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (3.1%). 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 2017, 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 2017, 675 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 2017 referred by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 287 1 1 1 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 237 2 2 2 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 14 3 3 3 More
46 USC 70503 - Possession control substance on vessel subject to jurisdiction of US 13 4 4 9 More
46 USC 70506 - Penalties 9 5 7 27 More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 5 6 13 4 More
21 USC 963 - Attempt and conspiracy 5 6 5 5 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 2 8 10 13 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 1 9 23 27 More
18 USC 846 - Explosives - Additional powers of the Secretary 1 9 16 11 More
18 USC 924 - Firearms; Penalties 1 9 12 10 More
18 USC 1365 - Tampering with consumer products 1 9 - - More
18 USC 2118 - Robberies/burglaries w/controlled substances 1 9 23 35 More
21 USC 848 - Continuing criminal enterprise 1 9 32 17 More
21 USC 858 - Endanger human life while illegally manufacturing controlled substance 1 9 - - More
21 USC 959 - Possession, manufacture, or distribution for purpo 1 9 10 14 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 "Firearms; Unlawful acts" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 922. "Firearms; Unlawful acts" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 922 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 366.7 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 2118 that involves " Robberies/burglaries w/controlled substances ". This was the same statute that had the largest increase — 1300 % — 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 45.7 percent — was " Attempt and conspiracy " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 963 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 73.3 percent — was for convictions where the lead charge was " Explosives - Additional powers of the Secretary " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 846 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2017 the Justice Department said the government obtained 250.7 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  
La, M 1,437 10 1 62 84 More
Mo, E 1,392 34 2 28 14 More
N Mexico 1,269 22 3 4 6 More
Iowa, S 1,195 18 4 58 30 More
La, W 831 15 5 46 43 More
Iowa, N 814 9 6 23 17 More
Tenn, E 738 16 7 9 18 More
Maine 631 7 8 62 74 More
Penn, M 566 15 9 36 23 More
Texas, E 551 18 10 9 8 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)

  • The Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) — with 1437 convictions as compared with 250.7 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during October 2017.

  • The Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 2nd.

  • District of New Mexico is now ranking 3rd. The District of New Mexico was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 6 for most frequent use five years ago.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Northern District of Iowa (Cedar Rapids), now ranked 6th , and Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) at 2nd In the same order, these districts ranked 23rd and 28th one year ago and 17th and 14th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago — 137 percent — was Southern District of Iowa (Des Moines). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth — 133.3 percent — was Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge).

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions — 31.1 percent — was Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville).  But over the past five years, Northern District of Iowa (Cedar Rapids) showed the largest drop — 47.9 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 October 2017 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 13 1 More
Crone, Marcia A. Texas, E 11 2 More
Honeywell, Charlene Vanessa Edwards Fla, M 10 3 More
Perry, Catherine D. Mo, E 10 3 More
Dalton, Roy Bale, Jr. Fla, M 9 5 More
Jarvey, John Alfred Iowa, S 8 6 More
Hicks, S. Maurice, Jr. La, W 7 7 More
Jones, John E., III Penn, M 7 7 More
Cummings, Samuel Ray Texas, N 7 7 More
Merryday, Steven Douglas Fla, M 6 10 More
Batten, Timothy C., Sr. Ga, N 6 10 More
Young, Richard L. Ind, S 6 10 More
Strand, Leonard T. Iowa, N 6 10 More
Ebinger, Rebecca Goodgame Iowa, S 6 10 More
Foote, Elizabeth Erny La, W 6 10 More
Autrey, Henry Edward Mo, E 6 10 More
Brack, Robert C. N Mexico 6 10 More
Fischer, Nora Barry Penn, W 6 10 More
Moses, Alia M. Texas, W 6 10 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

A total of 10 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 9 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 19 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Robert A. Junell in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 13 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Marcia A. Crone in the Eastern District of Texas (Tyler) ranked 2nd with 11 convicted in convictions.

  • Judges Charlene Vanessa Edwards Honeywell in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) and Catherine D. Perry in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 3rd with 10 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: November 28, 2017
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