Prosecutions for January 2014

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 877
Percent Change from previous month -16.4
Percent Change from 1 year ago 1.1
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -2.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -4.6
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2014 the government reported 877 new prosecutions 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 16.4% over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants charged 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 2014 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was only slightly up (1.1 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are down 2.5 percent from levels reported in 2009.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in prosecutions

The leveling out from the levels five years ago in prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of prosecutions 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 prosecutions of these matters in January 2014 was for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen", accounting for 21.3 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (12.2%), " Project Safe Childhood" (9.5%), "Bank Robbery" (7.3%), "Violence-Other" (7%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (4.7%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (3.6%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (3.2%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (2.9%), "Fraud-Other " (2.7%), "Violence-Indian Country" (2.5%), "Fraud-Health Care" (2.4%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In January 2014, 144 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 January the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113 involving the "Bank robbery and incidental crimes". This was the lead charge for 11.8 percent of all magistrate filings in January.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US" (8.3%), "18 USC 1073 - Flight to Avoid Prosecution or Giving Testimony" (8.3%), " 21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" (7.6%), "18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors" (6.3%).

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In January 2014, 733 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during January there were an additional 136 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 January.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during January 2014referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 82 1 1 2 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 74 2 2 3 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 73 3 3 1 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 45 4 4 4 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 31 5 11 8 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 28 6 4 11 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 27 7 7 5 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 27 7 6 9 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 23 9 9 6 More
18 USC 1347 - Health Care Fraud 19 10 15 15 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "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 2 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 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 prosecutions—up 17 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951 that involves " Hobbs Act ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—107.5 percent—was registered for prosecutions under " Fraud by wire, radio, or television " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1343 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 17.5 percent—was Bank Fraud (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ). This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 38.9 %—when compared with five years ago.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In January 2014 the Justice Department said the government brought 332.2 prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of prosecutions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3. Districts must have at least 5 prosecutions to receive a ranking.


Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
N Dakota 2,573 15 1 44 69 More
Tenn, W 1,517 20 2 36 32 More
S Dakota 1,296 9 3 31 23 More
Montana 1,194 10 4 29 26 More
N Mexico 1,093 19 5 32 32 More
Ark, W 1,005 11 6 66 79 More
Iowa, N 996 11 7 71 91 More
D. C. 949 5 8 13 48 More
Penn, M 832 22 9 49 19 More
Fla, S 831 48 10 1 2 More
Oregon 831 27 10 40 36 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of North Dakota—with 2573 prosecutions as compared with 332.2 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during January 2014.

  • The Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) ranked 2nd.

  • District of South Dakota is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Washington, D.C. (Washington), now ranked 8th , and Montana at 4th In the same order, these districts ranked 13th and 29th one year ago and 48th and 26th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of prosecutions compared to one year ago— 64.9 percent—was New Mexico . Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 1550 percent—was Northern District of Iowa (Cedar Rapids).

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of prosecutions— 21.7 percent—was Western District of Tennessee (Memphis).  But over the past five years, Southern District of Florida (Miami) showed the largest drop— 24.4 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 of this type during January 2014 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Jensen, Delwen Lowell Cal, N 23 1 296 37 More
Breen, J. Daniel Tenn, W 19 2 33 - More
Hall, Janet C. Conn 15 3 108 507 More
Miller, Charles S., Jr. N Dakota 15 3 80 222 More
Garcia-Gregory, Jay A. Puer Rico 15 3 55 507 More
Jonker, Robert James Mich, W 14 6 35 157 More
Hickey, Susan Owens Ark, W 11 7 247 - More
Reade, Linda R. Iowa, N 11 7 23 610 More
Marra, Kenneth A. Fla, S 10 9 157 112 More
King, Garr M. Oregon 10 9 296 157 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 6 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of filings per capita, while the remaining 4 judges were from other districts.

  • Judge Delwen Lowell Jensen in the Northern District of California (San Francisco) ranked 1st with 23 defendants in cases.

  • Judge J. Daniel Breen in the Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) ranked 2nd with 19 defendants in cases.

  • Judges Janet C. Hall in the District of Connecticut, Charles S. Miller, Jr. in the District of North Dakota and Jay A. Garcia-Gregory in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 3rd with 15 defendants in cases.

Report Generated: March 17, 2014
TRAC Copyright
Copyright 2014, TRAC Reports, Inc.

TRAC RSS Feed for this page Email Feed for this page Email this page