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Press Release

Number of Federal Defendants Charged and Imprisoned Rises in 2018

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM – The number of people charged with federal crimes in the Northern District of Alabama in 2018 and the percentage of those defendants sentenced to prison was the highest since 2007, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town.


“I believe that our numbers are a reflection of effort and my office turned in a tremendous effort in FY18,” Town said.  “Each Division is coordinating with the others in a true phalanx and, as a result, the office was more productive than at any time in recent memory.   Because of this team effort, the citizens of NDAL are safer, our communities are better, and our partnerships with local law enforcement are stronger than ever before.”


The priorities of the Department of Justice to reduce illegal gun crimes, reduce violent crime, pursue criminal immigration matters, to aggressively address the opioid epidemic in Alabama, and protect the public fisc were all successfully executed by the Northern District in 2018.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office showed vast improvement in all categories in 2018 over the previous fiscal year, which was itself one of the most productive years in over a decade.


The data provided by the Department of Justice indicates that the Northern District’s conviction rate of 99 percent is the highest since at least 2004.  Defendants charged totaled 575 for Fiscal Year 2018, up 6.5% from the 540 defendants charged in FY 2017. The number of defendants sentenced to prison in 2018 rose 19%, from 325 in 2017 to 387 in 2018.


The 259 defendants charged with violent crimes in 2018 was an 80% increase over the 144 charged with violent crimes in 2015.  The 169 defendants charged with drug-related crimes in 2018 was the largest number since 2008.


Illegal firearms prosecutions rose 27% in FY 2018 to 286, from 225 in FY 2017.  FY 2018 marked the largest number of illegal firearms prosecutions ever recorded in the Northern District of Alabama. 


In FY 2018, the prosecution of criminal immigration cases saw a 116% increase in the number of defendants found guilty, which is the largest increase in the history of the Northern District of Alabama. 


Our Civil Division achieved favorable judgments in nearly every category of litigation. 


Our Appellate Division was successful in all civil and criminal appeals.


In addition to the prosecutorial numbers, the Department of Justice, through grant funding, invested over $8.5 million last year in the Northern District of Alabama. 

Updated April 15, 2019