Organized Crime Prosecutions for July 2012
Table 1: Criminal Organized Crime Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during July 2012 the government reported 72 new organized crime prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 500% 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 2012 prosecutions of this type are compared with those of the same period in
the previous year, the number of filings was down (-48.7 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 7.1 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 decrease in
organized crime prosecutions is 5.4 percent instead of 7.1 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.
Figure 1: Monthly trends in organized crime prosecutions
The leveling out 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
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in July 2012 was for "Organized Crime-Emerging Organization", accounting for 95.8 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Organized Crime-Traditional Organization
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for organized crime prosecutions in July 2012
was FBI accounting for 89 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of organized crime referrals were:
ATF (4% ), DEA (3%), USAO (3%), Justice Other (1%).
See Figure 3.
Figure 2: Specific types of prosecutions
Figure 3: Prosecutions by investigative agency
Organized Crime Prosecutions in U.S. Magistrate Courts
Top Ranked Lead Charges
In July 2012, 3 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 July the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 21 U.S.C Section 846 involving the "Attempt and conspiracy". This was the lead charge
for 66.7 percent of all magistrate filings in July.
Organized Crime Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In July 2012, 69 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during July there
were an additional 3 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 July.
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 July 2012.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
"Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349) was ranked 6 a year ago.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "RICO - prohibited activities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962.
"RICO - prohibited activities" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962 was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 five years ago.
Ranked 3rd was "Hobbs Act" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951.
"Hobbs Act" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951 was ranked 4 a year ago, while it was ranked 8 five years ago.
Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest
increase in prosecutions—up 200 percent—compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349
that involves " Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy
Compared to five years ago, the largest increase—900 percent—was registered for
prosecutions under " Hobbs Act
" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951 ).
Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest
decline in prosecutions compared to one year ago—down 88.9 percent—was
Violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity
(Title 18 U.S.C Section 1959 ).
This was the same statute that had the largest decrease— 95.7 %—when compared with five years ago.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In July 2012 the Justice Department said the government brought 28.1 organized crime prosecutions for every ten million people in the United States.
Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita 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 per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3.
Districts must have at least 5 organized crime prosecutions to receive a ranking.
Table 3: Top 10 districts (per ten million people)
The Southern District of New York (Manhattan)—with 982 prosecutions as compared with 28.1 prosecutions per ten million population in the United States—was the most active during July 2012.
The Southern District of New York (Manhattan) was ranked 10 a year ago.
The Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) ranked 2nd.
Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) is now ranking 3rd.
The Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) was ranked 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 for most frequent use five years ago.
The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth
in the rate of organized crime prosecutions compared to one year ago— 418.2 percent—was
Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
This was the same district that had the largest increase— 2750 percent—when compared with five years ago.
In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the
largest drop in the rate of organized crime prosecutions— 41.1 percent—was
Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).
But over the past five years,
showed the largest drop— 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 organized crime crime cases of this type during July 2012 are shown in Table 4.
A total of 6 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of organized crime filings 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 Denise L. Cote in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 1st with 42 defendants in organized crime cases.
Judge Frank DeArmon Whitney in the Western District of North Carolina (Asheville) ranked 2nd with 17 defendants in organized crime cases.
Phyllis Jean Hamilton in the Northern District of California (San Francisco), Sterling Johnson, Jr. in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn), Arthur Donald Spatt in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) and Eduardo C. Robreno in the Eastern Dis
trict of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) ranked 3rd with 2 defendants in organized crime cases.
Judge Robrenoalso appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago(ranked 7).
Report Generated: October 1, 2012