Organized Crime Prosecutions for January 2013

Number Latest Month 40
Percent Change from previous month 135.3
Percent Change from 1 year ago -28.9
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Including Magistrate Court) -18.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago (Excluding Magistrate Court) -19.0
Table 1: Criminal Organized Crime Prosecutions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during January 2013 the government reported 40 new organized crime prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 135.3% over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with organized crime-related offenses 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 down (-28.9 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 18.2 percent from levels reported in 2008.

Plot of _FREQ_ by FYMONDT

Figure 1: Monthly trends in organized crime prosecutions

The decrease from the levels five years ago in organized crime prosecutions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of organized crime 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.

Within the broad category of organized crime, cases were classified by prosecutors into more specific types.

Case types within organized crime are

  • Organized Crime - Traditional Organizations

  • Organized Crime - Emerging Organizations

The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in January 2013 was for "Organized Crime-Emerging Organization", accounting for 72.5 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for " Organized Crime-Traditional Organization" (27.5%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for organized crime prosecutions in January 2013 was FBI accounting for 63 percent of prosecutions referred. Other agencies with substantial numbers of organized crime referrals were: ATF (23% ), SecServ (13%), DHS (3%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3: Prosecutions by investigative agency

Organized Crime Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In January 2013, 1 defendants in organized crime 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 1343 involving the "Fraud by wire, radio, or television". This was the lead charge for 100 percent of all magistrate filings in January.

Organized Crime Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts

In January 2013, 39 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during January 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 January.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the prosecutions of organized crime matters filed in U.S. District Court during January 2013.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 1955 - Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses 10 1 More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 8 2 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 6 3 More
18 USC 373 - Solicitation to commit a crime of violence 5 4 More
18 USC 1029 - Fraud and related activity - access devices 5 4 More
18 USC 371 - Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud US 1 6 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 1 6 More
18 USC 1959 - Violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity 1 6 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 1 6 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 1 6 More
Table 2: Top charges filed

  • "Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1955) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "RICO - prohibited activities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In January 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 15.2 organized crime prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the number of organized crime prosecutions that are filed in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of prosecutions of this type last month are shown in Table 3.


Judicial District Count Rank  
Hawaii 10 1 More
Texas, S 8 2 More
N. Y., S 6 3 More
Ill, N 5 4 More
Okla, N 5 4 More
N. J. 2 6 More
Cal, N 1 7 More
N. Y., E 1 7 More
N. Y., W 1 7 More
Table 3: Top 10 districts

  • The District of Hawaii—with 10 prosecutions—was the most active during January 2013.

  • The Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 2nd.

  • Southern District of New York (Manhattan) is now ranking 3rd.

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 organized crime crime cases of this type during January 2013 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Seabright, J[ohn] Michael Hawaii 10 1 More
Cote, Denise L. N. Y., S 6 2 More
Coleman, Sharon Johnson Ill, N 5 3 More
Seeborg, Richard G. Cal, N 1 4 More
Thompson, Anne Elise N. J. 1 4 More
McNulty, Kevin Charles N. J. 1 4 More
Feuerstein, Sandra J. N. Y., E 1 4 More
Skretny, William M. N. Y., W 1 4 More
Table 4: Top 10 judges

All 8 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of organized crime filings .

  • Judge J[ohn] Michael Seabright in the District of Hawaii ranked 1st with 10 defendants in organized crime cases.

  • Judge Denise L. Cote in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 2nd with 6 defendants in organized crime cases.

  • Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago) ranked 3rd with 5 defendants in organized crime cases.

Report Generated: March 5, 2013
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