DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Ohio

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 18, 2018
Justin E. Herdman
, United States Attorney
Contact: Mike Tobin

The U.S. Attorney's Office filed highest number of narcotics and violent crime indictments since at least 2005

Under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice charged the largest number of violent crime and firearm defendants in its history in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

In the Northern District of Ohio, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed indictments against 959 defendants – an increase of 50 percent over the previous fiscal year and the highest number since FY 2006.

Those indictments in the Northern District of Ohio include:

  • Indictments filed against 393 defendants for narcotics offenses – the highest number since 2005 and an increase of 69 percent over the previous fiscal year.
  • Indictments filed against 268 defendants for violent crime offenses – the highest since 2004 and an increase of 53 percent over the previous fiscal year.

“President Donald Trump is a law-and-order President—and this is a law-and-order administration,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  “The Department of Justice is breaking law enforcement records and doing so by significant margins.  When I took office as Attorney General, I ordered federal prosecutors and agents to take illegal guns off of our streets, to prosecute crimes aggressively, to protect our nation’s borders, and to target white collar fraud.  With support from our state and local partners, our federal prosecutors and agents have delivered—and I am grateful to them and the fabulous state and local officers who worked so hard to make these achievements possible. And we are seeing results.  Violent crime and homicides, which jumped in 2015 and 2016, both dropped in 2017 and will drop again in 2018.  There can be no doubt that good law enforcement policies can make our communities safer.”

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Justin Herdman said: “We have identified violent crime and drug overdoses as the biggest threats to our community. We have worked with local police and federal agencies to try to dismantle drug distribution networks, seek long prison sentences for those who use guns to commit crimes and strategically target those who have caused pain and suffering for our neighbors. Aggressive enforcement of the law is a crucial part of a broad strategy to improve our communities.”

Herdman added: “Numbers tell only part of the story, but they are an important reflection of the sustained, maximum effort made by the men and women of the U.S. Attorney’s Office into making our communities safer and healthier.”

According to data from the Executive Office of United States Attorneys (EOUSA), the number of defendants charged with criminal felony offenses increased by nearly 15 percent from more than 71,200 defendants in FY 2017 to more than 81,800 in FY 2018. 

In FY 2018, the Justice Department charged the largest number of violent crime defendants since EOUSA started to track this category more than 25 years ago (more than 16,800)—surpassing by nearly 15 percent the previous record set just last year.

In FY 2018, the Justice Department charged more than 15,300 defendants with federal firearms offenses, which is 17 percent more than the previous record.

In FY 2018, over 23,400 defendants were charged with felony illegal re-entry, an increase of more than 38 percent from FY 2017.

In FY 2018, over 23,600 defendants were charged with drug-related offenses, an increase of more than six percent from FY 2017.  

Also in FY 2018, the Justice Department increased white-collar prosecutions by more than three percent, charging more than 6,500 defendants.

Finally, in FY 2018, more than 68,400 defendants were charged with misdemeanor illegal entry.  This is the highest number of such defendants charged since EOUSA started to track this category and an almost 86 percent increase from the previous year.  This total is also more than 4 percent higher than the previous record of over 65,500 defendants set in FY 2013.


Columbus Field Division