Prosecutions for September 2013

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 1,288
Percent Change from previous month -6.5
Percent Change from 1 year ago 3.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) 0.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -2.1
Table 1: Criminal Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during September 2013 the government reported 1288 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 6.5% 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 2013 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of filings was up (3.2 percent). Prosecutions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that prosecutions of this type are up 0.2 percent from levels reported in 2008.

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 September 2013 was for "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen", accounting for 31.6 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force " (8.4%), "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (7.4%), "Project Safe Childhood" (6.8%), "Bank Robbery" (5.4%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (5.2%), "Violence-Other" (4.7%), "Fraud-Financial Institution" (3.8%), "Fraud-Other" (3.3%), " Other Criminal Prosecutions" (2.1%). See Figure 2.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions

Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In September 2013, 161 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 September the most frequently cited lead charge was Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 involving the "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A". This was the lead charge for 10.6 percent of all magistrate filings in September.

Other frequently prosecuted lead charges include: "18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes" (9.9%), "18 USC 1073 - Flight to Avoid Prosecution or Giving Testimony" (8.1%).

Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In September 2013, 1127 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during September 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 September.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

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

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 117 1 2 1 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 90 2 1 3 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 81 3 3 2 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 74 4 5 9 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 52 5 4 10 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 48 6 9 6 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 43 7 8 12 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 42 8 6 4 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 36 9 10 11 More
18 USC 1344 - Bank Fraud 22 10 11 5 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 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 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 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 2 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in prosecutions—up 22.1 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 21 U.S.C Section 841 that involves " Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—99.3 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 16.9 percent—was Attempt and conspiracy (Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in prosecutions— 44 percent—was for filings where the lead charge was " Bank Fraud " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1344 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In September 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 493.7 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  
Montana 2,338 19 1 34 26 More
S Dakota 2,068 14 2 20 17 More
Hawaii 2,038 22 3 64 83 More
Ohio, N 1,731 84 4 4 12 More
Ark, W 1,577 17 5 69 70 More
Cal, S 1,416 38 6 23 21 More
D. C. 1,401 7 7 31 55 More
N Dakota 1,299 7 8 52 58 More
Wash, E 1,223 15 9 71 47 More
Ga, S 1,149 14 10 85 40 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of Montana—with 2338 prosecutions as compared with 493.7 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during September 2013.

  • The District of South Dakota ranked 2nd.

  • District of Hawaii is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were South Dakota , now ranked 2nd , and Southern District of California (San Diego) at 6th In the same order, these districts ranked 20th and 23rd one year ago and 17th and 21st five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of prosecutions compared to one year ago— 320.8 percent—was Eastern District of Washington (Spokane). Compared to five years ago, the district with the largest growth— 538.5 percent—was Hawaii .

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of prosecutions— 8.4 percent—was South Dakota .  But over the past five years, Southern District of Georgia (Savannah) showed the largest drop— 22.4 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 September 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Boyko, Christopher A. Ohio, N 55 1 143 367 More
Cerezo, Carmen Consuelo Puer Rico 40 2 59 287 More
Moskowitz, Barry Ted Cal, S 26 3 143 224 More
Lake, Simeon Timothy, III Texas, S 24 4 230 287 More
Gaughan, Patricia Anne Ohio, N 22 5 52 184 More
Pratt, Tanya Walton Ind, S 20 6 3 - More
Kobayashi, Leslie Emi Hawaii 18 7 230 - More
Christensen, Dana Lewis Montana 16 8 446 - More
Schell, Richard A. Texas, E 16 8 12 41 More
Jackson, Carol E. Mo, E 14 10 713 367 More
Rosenthal, Lee Hyman Texas, S 14 10 382 506 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

A total of 5 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 6 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Christopher A. Boyko in the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland) ranked 1st with 55 defendants in cases.

  • Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo in the District of Puerto Rico ranked 2nd with 40 defendants in cases.

  • Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz in the Southern District of California (San Diego) ranked 3rd with 26 defendants in cases.

Report Generated: November 25, 2013
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