From 2000 to 2006… there were large drops in the number of defendants related to environmental offenses (down 12 percent), organized crime (38 percent), white-collar crime (10 percent), bank robbery (18 percent) and bankruptcy fraud (46 percent), according to Justice Department statistics provided this week to The Washington Post. Money-laundering prosecutions related to drugs were also down nearly 25 percent, while the number of drug cases overall was stagnant.
There were simultaneous jumps in prosecutions related to immigration (up 36 percent), weapons cases (87 percent), official corruption (15 percent), and, most dramatically, terrorism and national security cases (876 percent). Indeed, Justice Department funds devoted to counterterrorism programs in Washington have tripled since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Department officials say the surge in resources for national security and terrorism probes, in particular, reflects the intense administration efforts to prevent another attack. But the number of terrorism-related defendants has been relatively small: Prosecutions peaked at 818 in 2003 and fell to 635 by 2006, and most of these were not for terrorist acts or plans. [complete article]