Federal prosecutors frequently choose to charge individual defendants with a variety of crimes under a number of different statutes. An organized crime figure who committed a murder while negotiating a drug deal, for example, might be indicted for murder, drug dealing, and numerous organized crime and conspiracy offenses. During the data collection process, the Justice Department asks the prosecutors to select the "lead charge" on all referrals that they handle. Obviously, these judgments often are somewhat subjective when multiple serious charges are involved. Sometimes, they are influenced by the political needs of the moment: an administration, for example, that wants to show the public it is concentrating on organized crime or threats to the nation's internal security.
Here then, as viewed through the lens of federal prosecutors across the
country, are the most frequently cited "lead charges" involved in referrals
coming from the ATF. The complete text of these frequently cited lead
charges can be viewed by selecting the particular statute of interest in
the following table.
|U.S. Code Section of Lead Charge||Description|
|18 USC 111||assaulting or intimidating govt employee|
|18 USC 371||conspiracy to defraud the U.S.|
|18 USC 842||explosives - unlawful acts|