Organized Crime Convictions for August 2023

Number Latest Month 24
Percent Change from previous month 166.7
Percent Change from 1 year ago 32.4
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Including Magistrate Court)
Percent Change from 5 years ago
(Excluding Magistrate Court)
Table 1. Criminal Organized Crime Convictions

The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during August 2023 the government reported 24 new organized crime convictions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up 166.7 percent over the previous month.

The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted for 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 2023 convictions of this type are compared with those of the same period in the previous year, the number of convictions was up (32.4%). Convictions over the past year are still much lower than they were five years ago. Overall, the data show that convictions of this type are down 13.8 percent from levels reported in 2018.

Figure 1. Monthly Trends in Organized Crime Convictions

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

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 convictions of these matters in August 2023 was for "Organized Crime-Emerging Organization", accounting for 70.8 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Organized Crime-Traditional Organization" (29.2%). See Figure 2.

The lead investigative agency for organized crime convictions in August 2023 was FBI accounting for 71 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of organized crime convictions were: ATF (17% ), DEA (8%), DHS (4%). See Figure 3.

Pie chart of progcatlabel

Figure 2. Specific Types of Convictions
Pie chart of agenrevgrp

Figure 3. Convictions by Investigative Agency

Organized Crime Convictions in U.S. Magistrate Courts

Top Ranked Lead Charges

In August 2023, no defendants in organized crime 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.

Organized Crime Convictions in U.S. District Courts

In August 2023, 24 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 organized crime matters filed in U.S. District Court during August 2023.

Lead Charge Count Rank  
18 USC 1962 - RICO - prohibited activities 8 1 More
21 USC 841 - Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A 4 2 More
18 USC 924 - Firearms; Penalties 3 3 More
18 USC 1951 - Hobbs Act 3 3 More
18 USC 922 - Firearms; Unlawful acts 1 5 More
18 USC 1001 - Fraud/false statements or entries generally 1 5 More
18 USC 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television 1 5 More
18 USC 1952 - Racketeering -interstate/foreign travel/transport 1 5 More
18 USC 1961 - RICO - definitions 1 5 More
21 USC 952 - Importation of controlled substances 1 5 More
Table 2. Top Charges for Convictions

  • "RICO - prohibited activities" (Title 18 U.S.C Section 1962) was the most frequent recorded lead charge.

  • Ranked 2nd in frequency was the lead charge "Drug Abuse Prevention & Control-Prohibited acts A" under Title 21 U.S.C Section 841.

  • Ranked 3rd were "Firearms; Penalties" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 924 and "Hobbs Act" under Title 18 U.S.C Section 1951.

Top Ranked Judicial Districts

In August 2023 the Justice Department's case-by-case records show that the government obtained 8.7 organized crime convictions for every ten million people in the United States.

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

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

Judicial District Count Rank  
Fla, M 8 1 More
N. Y., S 6 2 More
Mass 4 3 More
Fla, S 2 4 More
Cal, N 1 5 More
Maryland 1 5 More
N. Y., E 1 5 More
Penn, E 1 5 More
Table 3. Top 10 Districts

  • The Middle District of Florida (Tampa) — with 8 convictions — was the most active during August 2023.

  • The Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 2nd.

  • District of Massachusetts 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 resulting in convictions of this type during August 2023 are shown in Table 4.

Judge Count Rank  
Koeltl, John George N. Y., S 6 1 More
Stearns, Richard Gaylore Mass 3 2 More
Bucklew, Susan C. Fla, M 2 3 More
Jung, William Frederic Fla, M 2 3 More
Barber, Thomas Patrick Fla, M 2 3 More
Freeman, Beth Labson Cal, N 1 6 More
Scriven, Mary Stenson Fla, M 1 6 More
Moreno, Federico A. Fla, S 1 6 More
Martinez, Jose E. Fla, S 1 6 More
Xinis, Paula Maryland 1 6 More
Saylor, F. Dennis, IV Mass 1 6 More
Pratter, Gene E.K. Penn, E 1 6 More
Table 4. Top Ten Judges

All 12 of the "top ten" judges were in districts which were in the top ten with the largest number of organized crime convictions. (Because of ties, there were a total of 12 judges in the "top ten" rankings.)

  • Judge John George Koeltl in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) ranked 1st with 6 convicted in organized crime convictions.

  • Judge Richard Gaylore Stearns in the District of Massachusetts ranked 2nd with 3 convicted in organized crime convictions.

  • Judges Susan C. Bucklew in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa), William Frederic Jung in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) and Thomas Patrick Barber in the Middle District of Florida (Tampa) ranked 3rd with 2 convicted in organized crime convictions.

Report Generated: October 6, 2023
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