Convictions for February 2013

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 902
Percent Change from previous month -19.5
Percent Change from 1 year ago 4.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 11.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 11.6
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during February 2013 the government reported 902 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 down 19.5% 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 (4 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 11.5 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in convictions

The increase 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 February 2013 was for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force", accounting for 14 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (10.9 %), "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (10.8%), "Project Safe Childhood" (9%), "Bank Robbery" (7.1%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (6.1%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (4.5%), "Violence-Indian Country" (4%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (3.9%), "Violence-Other" (3.1%) , "Fraud-Other" (2.9%), "Fraud-Health Care" (2.7%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (2.4%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In February 2013, 9 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 February 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 33.3 percent of all magistrate convictions in February.

Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In February 2013, 893 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during February 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 February.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

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

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 124 1 1 2 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 91 2 2 3 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 68 3 3 1 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 57 4 8 8 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 36 5 4 6 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 32 6 7 4 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 30 7 9 10 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 28 8 11 11 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 27 9 5 5 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 19 10 9 7 More
18 USC 1347 - Health Care Fraud 19 10 15 14 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 3 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 93.3 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1347 that involves " Health Care Fraud ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—74.6 percent—was registered for convictions under " Firearms; Unlawful acts " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 922 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 22.6 percent—was Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1341 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 30.2 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Bank Fraud " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In February 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 349 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  
D. C. 1,801 9 1 34 41 More
Montana 1,477 12 2 23 31 More
S Dakota 1,329 9 3 44 24 More
Hawaii 1,204 13 4 69 53 More
Okla, N 1,191 10 5 57 79 More
Ohio, N 1,051 51 6 9 6 More
Okla, W 1,048 17 7 38 41 More
N Mexico 1,015 17 8 17 25 More
Iowa, N 920 10 9 87 88 More
Ala, N 865 20 10 36 40 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington)—with 1801 convictions as compared with 349 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during February 2013.

  • The District of Montana ranked 2nd.

  • District of South Dakota is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were New Mexico , now ranked 8th , and Montana at 2nd In the same order, these districts ranked 17th and 23rd one year ago and 25th and 31st five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 385.7 percent—was Northern District of Iowa (Cedar Rapids). This was the same district that had the largest increase— 580 percent—when compared with five years ago.

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 7 percent—was Western District of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City).  But over the past five years, Hawaii showed the largest drop— 2.4 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 February 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Nugent, Donald C. Ohio, N 21 1 111 105 More
Polster, Dan A. Ohio, N 16 2 92 92 More
Selna, James V. Cal, C 11 3 - 345 More
Anderson, Joseph Fletcher, Jr. S Car 11 3 381 126 More
Reade, Linda R. Iowa, N 10 5 307 414 More
Russell, David Lynn Okla, W 10 5 139 607 More
Seabright, J[ohn] Michael Hawaii 9 7 456 607 More
Garcia-Gregory, Jay A. Puer Rico 9 7 29 - More
Lange, Roberto Antonio S Dakota 9 7 15 - More
Altonaga, Cecilia M. Fla, S 8 10 9 607 More
Cebull, Richard F. Montana 8 10 42 64 More
Brack, Robert C. N Mexico 8 10 707 496 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 4 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 12 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Donald C. Nugent in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 1st with 21 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Dan A. Polster in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 2nd with 16 convicted in convictions.

  • Judges James V. Selna in the Central District of California (Los Angeles) and Joseph Fletcher Anderson, Jr. in the District of South Carolina ranked 3rd with 11 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: April 23, 2013
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