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Federal Felony Prosecutions in Maryland at Historic High

November 23, 2010

The number of defendants prosecuted for federal felonies in Maryland has risen each year since 2005, to a total of 972 so far in 2010, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office issued today. That’s a 37 percent increase in five years and an 80 percent increase since 1980, according to data that the office provided.

The previous record high was set in 1987, when 814 defendants faced federal felony charges; that number was equaled in 2008, and then significantly surpassed in 2009 and 2010. Meanwhile, the average number of defendants prosecuted in the 2000s was 762, 15 percent higher than the average of 662 in the 1990s and 661 in the 1980s. There’s been a parallel increase in the number of federal defendants in custody without bail, with 88 percent more currently held than were in 2000.

“The increase in federal pretrial detainees is a direct result of the number of federal prosecutions of repeat offenders who are held pending trial because they pose a danger to our community,” U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein said in a statement. As for the dramatic, recent increase in federal defendants overall, Rosenstein said the trend “demonstrates our commitment to support state and local law enforcement and promote public safety,” and added that “the impact of federal law enforcement cannot be measured by statistics alone. We work with state and local partners to focus federal resources on the right cases.”

Maryland Federal Prosecutions, 1980 – 2010

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