Criminal case filings in federal courts last year rose 8 percent, to 76,655, said Chief Justice John Roberts in an annual summary reported by the New York Times. That was the biggest number since 1932, the year before the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment, which repealed Prohibition. In that year, 92,174 cases were filed, many of them for alcohol-related offenses.
With the exception of marijuana cases, the number of drug cases fell last year. So did gun cases. As Crime & Justice News has previously reported, cases involving immigration reached record levels. The number of defendants charged with immigration crimes, mostly relating to improper re-entry by immigrants or the misuse of visas and entry permits, rose 19 percent, to 26,961. Almost 90 percent of those cases were filed in the southwestern U.S.