Convictions for March 2013

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 1,017
Percent Change from previous month 16.2
Percent Change from 1 year ago 0.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 6.0
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 6.0
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during March 2013 the government reported 1017 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 16.2% 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 only slightly up (0.4 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 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 March 2013 was for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen", accounting for 13.9 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (12.1%) , "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (10.6%), "Project Safe Childhood" (9.4%), "Bank Robbery" (7.8%), "Violence-Other" (5%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (4.7%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (3.9%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (3.5%), "Fraud-Health Care" (3.4%), " Violence-Indian Country" (3.2%), "Fraud-Other" (2.5%), "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 March 2013, 7 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 March the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 18 U.S.C Section 111 involving the "Assaulting, resisting, impeding certain officers". This was the lead charge for 14.3 percent of all magistrate convictions in March.

Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In March 2013, 1010 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during March 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 March.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

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

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 131 1 2 2 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 83 2 1 3 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 82 3 3 1 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 46 4 6 8 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 46 4 4 4 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 38 6 9 11 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 31 7 5 6 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 30 8 7 5 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 22 9 8 27 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 19 10 11 9 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 2 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 1 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 22.2 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 922 that involves " Firearms; Unlawful acts ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—200 percent—was registered for convictions under " Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago—down 53.3 percent—was Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 29.4 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Bank Fraud " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In March 2013 the Justice Department said the government obtained 394.8 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. 4,403 22 1 27 39 More
S Dakota 1,625 11 2 45 29 More
Alaska 1,402 8 3 60 68 More
N Mexico 1,194 20 4 25 22 More
Tenn, W 1,158 15 5 44 14 More
N Dakota 1,113 6 6 72 72 More
Wyoming 1,102 5 7 78 71 More
La, W 1,084 19 8 50 41 More
Cal, S 1,043 28 9 12 26 More
Hawaii 1,019 11 10 60 60 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington)—with 4403 convictions as compared with 394.8 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during March 2013.

  • The District of South Dakota ranked 2nd.

  • District of Alaska is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Southern District of California (San Diego), now ranked 9th , and New Mexico at 4th In the same order, these districts ranked 12th and 25th one year ago and 26th and 22nd five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 75.6 percent—was Western District of Louisiana (Shreveport). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 151.6 percent—was Southern District of California (San Diego).

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions— 6.3 percent—was Hawaii .  But over the past five years, Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) showed the largest drop— 34.2 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 March 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Conway, Anne C. Fla, M 19 1 More
Nugent, Donald C. Ohio, N 14 2 More
Davis, Mark Steven Virg, E 13 3 More
Drell, Dee D. La, W 12 4 More
Sparks, Sam Texas, W 12 4 More
Robinson, Julie A. Kansas 11 6 More
Moon, Norman K. Virg, W 11 6 More
Nelson, Susan Richard Minnesota 9 8 More
Clark, Ron Texas, E 9 8 More
Alvarez, Micaela Texas, S 9 8 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 1 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 9 judges were from other districts.

  • Judge Anne C. Conway in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) ranked 1st with 19 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Donald C. Nugent in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 2nd with 14 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Mark Steven Davis in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) ranked 3rd with 13 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: May 9, 2013
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Copyright 2013, TRAC Reports, Inc.

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