Convictions for August 2023

Referring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Number Latest Month 1,354
Percent Change from previous month 15.8
Percent Change from 1 year ago 23.2
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2023 the government reported 1354 new convictions 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 up 15.8 percent over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted 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 2023 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was up (23.2%). Convictions over the past year are still much higher than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are up 22.3 percent from levels reported in 2018.

Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Convictions

The increase from the levels five years ago in convictions for these matters is shown more clearly in Figure 1. The vertical bars in Figure 1 represent the number of convictions 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 convictions of these matters in August 2023 was for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking", accounting for 15.9 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" (15%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (12.1%), "Project Safe Childhood" (11.4%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC (FOIA challen" (6.6%), "Violence-Indian Country" (5.7%), "Violence-Other" (5.7%), "Bank Robbery" (3.2%), "Fraud-Other" (2.7%). See Figure 2.

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Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions

Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In August 2023, no defendants in cases for these matters were convicted 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.

Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In August 2023, 1348 defendants in new cases for these matters were charged in the U.S. District Courts. In addition during August 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 August.

Top Ranked Lead Charges

Table 2 shows the top lead charges recorded in the convictions of matters filed in U.S. District Court during August 2023 referred by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Lead Charge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 212 1 1 2 More
21 USC 846 - Attempt and conspiracy 159 2 3 1 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 150 3 2 3 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 62 4 7 7 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 58 5 4 5 More
18 USC 2252 - Material involving sexual exploitation of minors 56 6 5 6 More
18 USC 2113 - Bank robbery and incidental crimes 49 7 6 4 More
18 USC 2252A - Activity relating material constituting/containing chil 27 9 10 9 More
18 USC 1349 - Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy 23 10 11 13 More
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 23 10 25 14 More
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions

  • "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 1 a year ago, while it was ranked 2 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 3 a year ago, while it was ranked 1 five years ago.

  • Ranked 3rd was "Firearms; Unlawful acts" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 922. "Firearms; Unlawful acts" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 922 was ranked 2 a year ago, while it was ranked 3 five years ago.

Among these top ten lead charges, the one showing the greatest increase in convictions — up 81.1 percent — compared to one year ago was Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962 that involves " RICO - prohibited activities ". Compared to five years ago, the largest increase — 130.9 percent — was registered for convictions under "Other US Code Section " (Title U.S.C Section ).

Again among the top ten lead charges, the one showing the sharpest decline in convictions compared to one year ago — down 10.6 percent — was " Mail Fraud - Attempt and Conspiracy " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1349 ). Compared to five years ago, the most significant decline in convictions — 42 percent — was for convictions where the lead charge was " Bank robbery and incidental crimes " (Title 18 U.S.C Section 2113 ).

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In August 2023 the Justice Department's case-by-case records show that the government obtained 487.4 convictions for every ten million people in the United States.

Understandably, there is great variation in the per capita number of convictions in each of the nation's ninety-four federal judicial districts.

The districts registering the largest number of convictions per capita for these matters last month are shown in Table 3. Districts must have at least 5 convictions to receive a ranking.

Judicial District Percapita Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
D. C. 5,373 30 1 14 54 More
Montana 4,564 42 2 20 26 More
Alaska 3,593 21 3 76 65 More
S Dakota 2,450 18 4 33 38 More
La, M 2,115 15 5 90 92 More
Ark, E 1,688 23 6 33 40 More
Okla, N 1,652 15 7 6 66 More
N Mexico 1,475 26 8 8 30 More
Ala, S 1,394 10 9 74 42 More
Penn, E 1,338 67 10 10 4 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts (per ten million people)

  • The District of Washington, D.C. (Washington) — with 5373 convictions as compared with 487.4 convictions per ten million population in the United States — was the most active during August 2023.

  • The District of Montana ranked 2nd.

  • District of Alaska is now ranking 3rd.

Recent entrants to the top 10 list were Washington, D.C. (Washington), now ranked 1st , and Montana at 2nd In the same order, these districts ranked 14th and 20th one year ago and 54th and 26th five years ago.

The federal judicial district which showed the greatest growth in the rate of convictions compared to one year ago — 420 percent — was Middle District of Louisiana (Baton Rouge). This was the same district that had the largest increase — 766.7 percent — when compared with five years ago.

In the last year, the judicial District Court recording the largest drop in the rate of convictions — 31.2 percent — was Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa).  But over the past five years, Southern District of Alabama (Mobile) showed the largest drop — 35.3 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 resulting in convictions of this type during August 2023 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank 1yr ago 5yrs ago  
Morris, Brian Matthew Montana 21 1 8 82 More
Kays, David Gregory Mo, W 18 2 13 394 More
Marshall, Denzil Price, Jr. Ark, E 16 3 137 327 More
Dick, Shelly Deckert La, M 14 4 342 - More
Rogers, Yvonne Gonzalez Cal, N 12 5 342 - More
Pitman, Robert Texas, W 12 5 282 695 More
Watters, Susan Pamela Montana 11 7 29 3 More
Trenga, Anthony John Virg, E 11 7 428 471 More
Hernandez, Marco Antonio Oregon 10 9 110 155 More
Jordan, Sean D. Texas, E 10 9 75 - More
Hendrix, James Wesley Texas, N 10 9 1 - More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

A total of 4 out of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of convictions per capita, while the remaining 7 judges were from other districts. (Because of ties, there were a total of 11 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge Brian Matthew Morris in the District of Montana ranked 1st with 21 convicted in convictions. Judge Morris also appeared in the top ten rankings one year ago (ranked 8).

  • Judge David Gregory Kays in the Western District of Missouri (Kansas City) ranked 2nd with 18 convicted in convictions.

  • Judge Denzil Price Marshall, Jr. in the Eastern District of Arkansas (Little Rock) ranked 3rd with 16 convicted in convictions.

Report Generated: October 6, 2023
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