FBI criminal cases have fallen sharply since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as the bureau shifts its focus from drugs and white-collar offenses to anti-terrorism, reports USA Today. Over the past five years, prosecutions in which the FBI acted as lead investigator have fallen about 25 percent, from nearly 19,000 in fiscal 2001 to just more than 14,000 in fiscal 2005. FBI convictions are down 11 percent, from about 13,500 to just more than 12,000. Convictions in national security and terrorism cases quadrupled, from 84 to 336.
The numbers were collected by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and archived by TRACFED, Syracuse University’s federal justice data-collection program. White-collar prosecutions based on FBI investigations fell from 4,950 in fiscal 2001 to 2,945 last year, a drop of more than 40 percent. Drug cases also declined more than 40 percent. Half of those convicted of terrorism or national security violations received sentences of 12 months or less. Gregory Wallance, a former federal prosecutor, says those figures show that the Justice Department may be padding its numbers by labeling immigration and other low-level violations as terrorism cases.