Convictions for August 2017

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 1,066
Percent Change from previous month 16.6
Percent Change from 1 year ago 5.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
-4.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
-3.8
Table 1. Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2017 the government reported 1066 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 16.6 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 up (5.6%). 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 4.2 percent from levels reported in 2012.

Bar and line plot of FYMON

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 August 2017 was for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force", accounting for 15.5 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Project Safe Childhood" (12.4%), "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (11.3%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (9.9%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (7.9%), "Bank Robbery" (7.4%), "Violence-Indian Country" (5.8%), "Violence-Other" (5.1%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (2.6%), "Fraud-Other" (2.5%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In August 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 August 2017, 1062 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during August 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 August.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during August 2017 referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 166 1 1 2 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 102 2 2 1 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 97 3 6 9 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 81 4 3 3 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 57 5 4 4 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 42 6 5 6 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 40 7 7 11 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 23 8 8 10 More
18 USC 2252A - Activity relating material constituting/containing chil 19 9 12 13 More
18 USC 113 - Assaults within maritime and territorial jurisdictions 18 10 10 12 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 18 10 9 7 More
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions

  • "Attempt and conspiracy" (Title 21 U.S.C Section 846) was the most frequent recorded lead charge. "Attempt and conspiracy" (Title 21 U.S.C Section 846) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 841. "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 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 6 a year ago, while it was ranked 9 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions — up 30.4 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 — 92.7 % — 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 30.2 percent — was " Bank Fraud " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ). This was the same statute that had the largest decrease — 61.8 % — when compared with five years ago.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In August 2017 the Justice Department said the government obtained 396.5 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  
Ala, S 3,417 24 1 64 49 More
S Dakota 2,275 16 2 42 32 More
Montana 2,091 18 3 11 29 More
Ark, E 1,610 22 4 57 46 More
N Mexico 1,554 27 5 19 35 More
N. Y., S 1,303 57 6 26 15 More
Ken, E 1,147 21 7 29 40 More
Wyoming 1,024 5 8 78 70 More
Utah 1,001 25 9 34 39 More
Miss, N 966 9 10 86 81 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)

  • The Southern District of Alabama (Mobile) — with 3417 convictions as compared with 396.5 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during August 2017.

  • The District of South Dakota ranked 2nd.

  • District of Montana is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Montana , now ranked 3rd , and New Mexico at 5th In the same order, these districts ranked 11th and 19th one year ago and 29th and 35th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago — 150 percent — was Southern District of New York (Manhattan). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth — 71.7 percent — was Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock).

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions — 23.9 percent — was Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington).  But over the past five years, South Dakota showed the largest drop — 23.6 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 August 2017 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
O'Connor, Reed Charles Texas, N 20 1 75 377 More
Blackburn, Robert E. Colorado 12 2 152 268 More
Boyko, Christopher A. Ohio, N 11 3 13 24 More
Granade, Callie V. Ala, S 10 4 355 377 More
Reeves, Danny C. Ken, E 10 4 9 268 More
Conrad, Robert James, Jr. N Car, W 10 4 120 535 More
Rice, Walter Herbert Ohio, S 10 4 50 628 More
Burns, Larry Alan Cal, S 9 8 - 440 More
Kornmann, Charles B. S Dakota 9 8 238 88 More
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 9 8 152 9 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

A total of 3 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 7 judges were from other districts.

  • Judge Reed Charles O'Connor in the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) ranked 1st with 20 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Robert E. Blackburn in the District of Colorado ranked 2nd with 12 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Christopher A. Boyko in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 3rd with 11 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: September 19, 2017
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