Convictions for October 2012

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 915
Percent Change from previous month -25.4
Percent Change from 1 year ago 2.6
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 0.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) 0.3
Table 1: Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during October 2012 the government reported 915 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 25.4% 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 2012 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was up (2.6 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 0.4 percent from levels reported in 2007.

The leveling out in these cases is partly related to increases in the matters filed in U.S. Magistrate Courts. If magistrate cases are excluded and only Federal District Court cases are counted, the overall increase in convictions is 0.3 percent instead of 0.4 percent. The evidence suggests that part of the difference may be the result of improvements in the recording of the magistrate cases by the Justice Department.

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 October 2012 was for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen", accounting for 13.3 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (11.6 %), "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (10.6%), "Bank Robbery" (8.6%), "Project Safe Childhood" (8.4%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (6.8%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (4%), "Violence-Indian Country" (3.9%), "Violence-Other" (3.9%), "Fraud-Mortgage" (3.8 %), "Fraud-Other" (3.1%), "Fraud-Health Care" (2.3%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In October 2012, 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 October 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 28.6 percent of all magistrate convictions in October.

Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In October 2012, 908 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during October 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 October.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during October 2012referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 98 1 2 3 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 88 2 1 2 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 80 3 3 1 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 44 4 4 7 More
18 USC 1341 - Mail Fraud - Frauds and swindles 38 5 5 5 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 38 5 8 8 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 36 7 11 10 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 33 8 9 9 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 27 9 10 6 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 27 9 7 25 More
Table 2: Top charges for convictions

  • "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 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 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 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 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 31.5 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—451.4 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 8.2 percent—was Bank robbery and incidental crimes (Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions— 33.3 percent—was for convictions where the lead charge was " Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 371 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In October 2012 the Justice Department said the government obtained 354.9 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. 3,202 16 1 33 40 More
Montana 1,846 15 2 27 32 More
S Dakota 1,773 12 3 45 29 More
Cal, S 1,267 34 4 16 40 More
Wash, E 1,223 15 5 76 77 More
Penn, E 1,008 48 6 7 4 More
Ark, E 902 12 7 62 44 More
Ken, E 886 16 8 3 36 More
Fla, S 846 47 9 1 2 More
N Mexico 836 14 10 28 46 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington)—with 3202 convictions as compared with 354.9 convictions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during October 2012.

  • The District of Montana ranked 2nd.

  • District of South Dakota is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Southern District of California (San Diego), now ranked 4th , and Montana at 2nd In the same order, these districts ranked 16th and 27th one year ago and 40th and 32nd five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago— 100 percent—was Eastern District of Washington (Spokane). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 172.2 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— 63.6 percent—was Eastern District of Kentucky (Lexington).  But over the past five years, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) showed the largest drop— 11.6 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 October 2012 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Davis, Legrome D. Penn, E 11 1 More
Gonzalez, Irma Elsa Cal, S 8 2 More
Martinez, Jose E. Fla, S 8 2 More
Scola, Robert Nichols, Jr. Fla, S 8 2 More
Nugent, Donald C. Ohio, N 8 2 More
Junell, Robert A. Texas, W 8 2 More
O'Grady, Liam Virg, E 8 2 More
Cebull, Richard F. Montana 7 8 More
Smith, Walter Scott, Jr. Texas, W 7 8 More
Moody, James Maxwell Ark, E 6 10 More
Real, Manuel Lawrence Cal, C 6 10 More
Huff, Marilyn L. Cal, S 6 10 More
Dimitrouleas, William P. Fla, S 6 10 More
Lawrence, William T. Ind, S 6 10 More
Sanchez, Juan Ramon Penn, E 6 10 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 9 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 6 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 15 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Legrome D. Davis in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) ranked 1st with 11 convicted in convictions.

  • Judges Irma Elsa Gonzalez in the Southern District of California (San Diego), Jose E. Martinez in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Robert Nichols Scola, Jr. in the Southern District of Florida (Miami), Donald C. Nugent in the Northern District of Ohio (C leveland), Robert A. Junell in the Western District of Texas (San Antonio) and Liam O'Grady in the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria) ranked 2nd with 8 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: February 6, 2013
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