Prosecutions for January 2014
Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation
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.
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.
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.
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
(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.
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
, and Montana
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.
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