Convictions for March 2014

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 1,249
Percent Change from previous month 41.4
Percent Change from 1 year ago 1.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 0.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 1.0
Table 1. Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during March 2014 the government reported 1249 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 41.4 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 2014 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was only slightly up (1.3%). 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 0.9 percent from levels reported in 2009.

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 March 2014 was for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen", accounting for 12.7 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (11.5%), " Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (10.7%), "Project Safe Childhood" (8.6%), "Bank Robbery" (7.8%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (4.6%), "Fraud-Other" (4.4%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (4.3%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (3.9%), "Violence-Other" (3.9%), " Violence-Indian Country" (2.7%), "Organized Crime-Traditional Organization" (2.4%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (2.1%). 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 2014, 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 March 2014, 1247 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 2014 referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 137 1 1 2 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 127 2 2 3 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 94 3 3 1 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 54 4 5 4 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 46 5 6 11 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 46 5 4 7 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 42 7 8 5 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 42 7 9 10 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 40 9 10 6 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 37 10 7 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 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 41.5 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 that involves " Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 79.6 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 17.4 percent — was " Attempt and conspiracy " (Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 29.6 percent — was for convictions where the lead charge was " Bank robbery and incidental crimes " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In March 2014 the Justice Department said the government obtained 476.7 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  
S Dakota 2,880 20 1 36 27 More
Hawaii 2,844 33 2 71 75 More
Wash, E 2,357 30 3 53 68 More
D. C. 1,708 9 4 18 32 More
Ala, S 1,438 10 5 72 61 More
Montana 1,313 11 6 24 15 More
N Mexico 1,208 21 7 10 50 More
Tenn, W 1,137 15 8 24 31 More
Cal, S 1,109 31 9 7 36 More
Ken, E 1,103 20 10 50 29 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of South Dakota — with 2880 convictions as compared with 476.7 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during March 2014.

  • The District of Hawaii ranked 2nd.

  • Eastern District of Washington (Spokane) is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Washington, D.C. (Washington), now ranked 4th , and Montana at 6th In the same order, these districts ranked 18th and 24th one year ago and 32nd and 15th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago — 88 percent — was Southern District of Alabama (Mobile). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth — 166.7 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 — 52.9 percent — was New Mexico .  But over the past five years, Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) showed the largest drop — 34.4 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 March 2014 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Suko, Lonny R. Wash, E 14 1 More
Bunning, David L. Ken, E 11 2 More
Marra, Kenneth A. Fla, S 10 3 More
Mollway, Susan Oki Hawaii 10 3 More
Kobayashi, Leslie Emi Hawaii 10 3 More
O'Connor, Reed Charles Texas, N 10 3 More
Pratt, Tanya Walton Ind, S 9 7 More
Tauro, Joseph Louis Mass 9 7 More
Aiken, Ann L. Oregon 9 7 More
Lange, Roberto Antonio S Dakota 9 7 More
Shea, Edward F. Wash, E 9 7 More
Table 4. Top Ten 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 convictions per capita, while the remaining 5 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Lonny R. Suko in the Eastern District of Washington (Spokane) ranked 1st with 14 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge David L. Bunning in the Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington) ranked 2nd with 11 convicted in convictions.

  • Judges Kenneth A. Marra in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Susan Oki Mollway in the District of Hawaii, Leslie Emi Kobayashi in the District of Hawaii and Reed Charles O'Connor in the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth) ranked 3rd with 10 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: May 13, 2014
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