Convictions for April 2013

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 1,012
Percent Change from previous month 1.4
Percent Change from 1 year ago 2.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 6.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 6.1
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2013 the government reported 1012 new convictions for these matters. Those cases were referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 1.4% 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 up (2.9 percent). Convictions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are up 6 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 April 2013 was for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force", accounting for 12.7 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (12.5%) , "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (10%), "Project Safe Childhood" (8.8%), "Bank Robbery" (8.6%), "Violence-Other" (5.6%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (4.7%), "Violence-Indian Country" (4.3%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (4.2%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (4.2%) , "Fraud-Health Care" (3.1%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (2.3%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In April 2013, 11 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 April the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 113 involving the "Assaults within maritime and territorial jurisdictions". This was the lead charge for 27.3 percent of all magistrate convictions in April.

Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In April 2013, 1001 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during April 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 April.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during April 2013referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 108 1 1 3 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 106 2 2 2 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 96 3 3 1 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 48 4 4 4 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 44 5 11 10 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 39 6 5 8 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 37 7 10 11 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 33 8 6 5 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 33 8 6 6 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 28 10 9 7 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 3 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 "Bank robbery and incidental crimes" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113. "Bank robbery and incidental crimes" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113 was ranked 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions—up 25.2 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 922 that involves " Firearms; Unlawful acts ". This was the same statute that had the largest increase—82.1 %—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 23.6 percent—was Bank Fraud (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 30.8 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In April 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 391.3 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  
S Dakota 3,102 21 1 38 36 More
La, M 2,897 19 2 79 73 More
D. C. 2,001 10 3 25 37 More
Hawaii 1,297 14 4 62 55 More
Fla, S 1,187 66 5 1 2 More
Tenn, W 1,158 15 6 53 14 More
Montana 1,108 9 7 18 31 More
N Car, W 897 22 8 68 10 More
Alaska 876 5 9 57 64 More
Ala, S 872 6 10 47 52 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of South Dakota—with 3102 convictions as compared with 391.3 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during April 2013.

  • The Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge) ranked 2nd.

  • District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Montana , now ranked 7th , and Washington, D.C. (Washington) at 3rd In the same order, these districts ranked 18th and 25th one year ago and 31st and 37th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 128.6 percent—was Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge). This was the same district that had the largest increase— 68.4 percent—when compared with five years ago.

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 32.6 percent—was Southern District of Alabama (Mobile).  But over the past five years, Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) showed the largest drop— 62.1 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 resulting in convictions of this type during April 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 11 1 More
Simpson, Charles Ralph, III Ken, W 11 1 More
Anderson, George Ross, Jr. S Car 11 1 More
Brady, James J. La, M 10 4 More
King, James Lawrence Fla, S 9 5 More
Whitney, Frank DeArmon N Car, W 9 5 More
Nugent, Donald C. Ohio, N 9 5 More
Lange, Roberto Antonio S Dakota 9 5 More
Crone, Marcia A. Texas, E 9 5 More
Smith, Walter Scott, Jr. Texas, W 8 10 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 convictions per capita, while the remaining 5 judges were from other districts.

  • Judges Robert Nichols Scola, Jr. in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Charles Ralph Simpson, III in the Western District of Kentucky (Louisville) and George Ross Anderson, Jr. in the District of South Carolina ranked 1st with 11 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: June 10, 2013
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