Convictions for September 2013

Referring Agency: Drug Enforcement Administration

Number Latest Month 1,256
Percent Change from previous month 29.9
Percent Change from 1 year ago -5.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -17.8
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -17.8
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during September 2013 the government reported 1256 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 29.9% 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 (-5.1 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 17.8 percent from levels reported in 2008.

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 September 2013 was for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking", accounting for 46.8 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (32.7%), " Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (16.6%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In September 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 September 2013, 1253 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during September 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 September.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

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

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 528 1 1 1 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 442 2 2 2 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 16 3 3 4 More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 12 4 4 - More
18 USC 924 - Firearms; Penalties 7 5 10 7 More
21 USC 843 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts C 4 6 8 8 More
18 USC 4 - Misprision of Felony 3 7 18 19 More
21 USC 963 - Attempt and conspiracy 3 7 6 3 More
18 USC 846 - Explosives - Additional powers of the Secretary 2 9 22 19 More
18 USC 1952 - Racketeering -interstate/foreign travel/transport 2 9 11 18 More
18 USC 1956 - Laundering of monetary instruments 2 9 7 6 More
18 USC 1961 - RICO - definitions 2 9 28 47 More
21 USC 851 - Proceedings to establish prior convictions 2 9 - 25 More
21 USC 959 - Possession, manufacture, or distribution for purpo 2 9 14 23 More
31 USC 5324 - Structuring transactions to evade reporting requir 2 9 24 25 More
46 USC 70506 - Penalties 2 9 24 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 4 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions—up 450 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1961 that involves " RICO - definitions ". This was the same statute that had the largest increase—1000 %—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 66.7 percent—was Racketeering -interstate/foreign travel/transport (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1952 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 60.5 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Attempt and conspiracy " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 963 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In September 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 489.8 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 1,911 32 1 6 8 More
Tenn, E 1,862 39 2 16 13 More
Miss, N 1,840 17 3 78 66 More
Virg, W 1,809 32 4 20 49 More
Ark, E 1,654 22 5 33 45 More
Texas, S 1,555 109 6 2 3 More
Miss, S 1,367 21 7 82 54 More
Texas, W 1,311 67 8 1 1 More
Alaska 1,227 7 9 54 75 More
Vermont 1,158 6 10 52 75 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of New Mexico—with 1911 convictions as compared with 489.8 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during September 2013. The District of New Mexico was ranked 6 a year ago, while it was ranked 8 for most frequent use five years ago.

  • The Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville) ranked 2nd.

  • Northern District of Mississippi (Oxford) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville), now ranked 2nd , and Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) at 4th In the same order, these districts ranked 16th and 20th one year ago and 13th and 49th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 376.5 percent—was Southern District of Mississippi (Jackson). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 57.6 percent—was Western District of Virginia (Roanoke).

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 36.9 percent—was Western District of Texas (San Antonio).  This was the same district that had the largest increase— 27.6 percent—when compared with five years ago.

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 September 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 23 1 1 1 More
Jones, James Parker Virg, W 18 2 20 413 More
Aycock, Sharion Miss, N 17 3 295 - More
Moses, Alia Texas, W 16 4 3 - More
Dominguez, Daniel R. Puer Rico 15 5 191 695 More
Greer, J. Ronnie Tenn, E 14 6 20 124 More
Brack, Robert C. N Mexico 13 7 36 15 More
Anderson, Percy Cal, C 12 8 546 695 More
Totenberg, Amy Mil Ga, N 12 8 464 - More
Steele, John E. Fla, M 11 10 20 114 More
Fenner, Gary A. Mo, W 11 10 295 619 More
Jordan, Robert Leon Tenn, E 11 10 151 695 More
Ramos, Nelva Gonzales Texas, S 11 10 6 - 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 5 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 13 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Robert A. Junell in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) ranked 1st with 23 convicted in convictions. Judge Junell appeared in the top ten rankings one year (ranked 1) and five years ago (rank 1).

  • Judge James Parker Jones in the Western District of Virginia (Roanoke) ranked 2nd with 18 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Sharion Aycock in the Northern District of Mississippi (Oxford) ranked 3rd with 17 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: November 25, 2013
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