Sentences and Fines for Organized Crime Figures and Major Drug Traffickers

GGD-85-19: Published: Apr 4, 1985. Publicly Released: May 3, 1985.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the sentencing and parole of those convicted of drug trafficking or involvement in organized crime, focusing on: (1) a comparison of sentences imposed with statutory maximum sentences; and (2) the impact of parole and time off for good behavior on sentences actually served.

GAO found that: (1) 3 percent of those whose cases were studied were placed on probation or received suspended sentences; (2) 58 percent received prison terms of 10 years or less; (3) 38 percent received prison terms of between 10 years and life; (4) 1 percent received life sentences; (5) 74 percent received less than the statutory maximum concurrent prison term; (6) the median statutory maximum concurrent sentence that could have been imposed was 15 years; and (7) the median concurrent sentence imposed was 10 years. GAO also found that, of those who were assessed fines; (1) 68 percent were assessed fines less than the statutory maximum; (2) 32 percent were assessed the statutory maximum fine; and (3) the median fine imposed was $15,000. In addition, GAO found that, overall, considering time off for good behavior: (1) those offenders who were not paroled served or will serve a median of 44 months, compared with a median sentence of 60 months; and (2) those offenders who were paroled served or will serve a median of 50 months, compared with a median sentence of 120 months.

Oct 26, 2020

Sep 30, 2020

Sep 10, 2020

Sep 8, 2020

Aug 13, 2020

Jul 29, 2020

Jul 8, 2020

Jun 22, 2020

May 26, 2020

May 12, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here