Criminal Penalties Resulting From the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

GGD-87-29BR: Published: Dec 22, 1986. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO analyzed court records on offenders the Department of Justice convicted and sentenced under its Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program, to compare: (1) the actual penalties imposed with the maximum authorized at the time of sentencing; and (2) the dollar amount of fines imposed with the actual amount that the federal government collected.

GAO found that, of the 1,697 offenders convicted and sentenced: (1) 22 percent received probation or a suspended sentence; (2) 50 percent received prison sentences of 5 years or less; (3) 24 percent received prison sentences of over 5 years; and (4) 4 percent received prison sentences of over 15 years to life. Although the median sentence that the courts imposed was 51 months, the maximum possible concurrent sentence was 180 months. GAO also found that: (1) although the courts could have imposed fines totaling $67.3 million, the imposed fines totaled only $9.5 million; (2) the median fine imposed was $10,000, while the maximum allowed was $25,000; and (3) the federal government had collected only 8.6 percent of the total fines imposed.

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