Organized Crime Prosecutions for May 2013
Table 1: Criminal Organized Crime Prosecutions
The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during May 2013 the government reported 35 new organized crime prosecutions.
According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 40.7% 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 up (9.8 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 17 percent from levels reported in 2008.
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
The largest number of prosecutions of these matters in May 2013 was for "Organized Crime-Emerging Organization", accounting for 88.6 percent of prosecutions. Prosecutions were also filed for "Organized Crime-Traditional Organization" (
8.6%), "Organized Crime-High Priority Organized" (2.9%).
See Figure 2.
The lead investigative agency for organized crime prosecutions in May 2013
was FBI accounting for 49 percent of prosecutions referred.
Other agencies with substantial numbers of organized crime referrals were:
DHS (34% ), ATF (11%), DEA (3%), Local (3%).
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 May 2013, 6 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 May the most frequently cited lead charge was
Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951 involving the "Hobbs Act". This was the lead charge
for 66.7 percent of all magistrate filings in May.
Organized Crime Prosecutions in U.S. District Courts
In May 2013, 29 defendants in new cases
for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during May there
were an additional 4 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 May.
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 May 2013.
Table 2: Top charges filed
"Attempt and conspiracy" (Title 21 U.S.C Section 846) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.
Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Prohibition of illegal gambling businesses" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1955.
Ranked 3rd was "Fraud and related activity - id documents" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1028.
Top Ranked Judicial Districts
In May 2013 the Justice Department said the government brought 12.9 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.
Table 3: Top 10 districts
The Southern District of Texas (Houston)—with 12 prosecutions—was the most active during May 2013.
The Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) ranked 2nd.
Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) 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 May 2013 are shown in Table 4.
All 9 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of organized crime filings .
Judge Simeon Timothy Lake, III in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) ranked 1st with 12 defendants in organized crime cases.
Judge J. Daniel Breen in the Western District of Tennessee (Memphis) ranked 2nd with 11 defendants in organized crime cases.
Judge John Andrew Ross in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis) ranked 3rd with 3 defendants in organized crime cases.
Report Generated: July 22, 2013