In 1790, the first set of federal criminal laws contained a grand total of 20 crimes. Since then, the number of federal crimes listed has bloated beyond recognition. No one knows how many federal crimes exist, although a 1998 study from the American Bar Association concluded the total was likely “much higher” than 3,000.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Federal agencies have the power to “make” laws called “Administrative Laws” out of thin air. Violate one of these, you will end up in a cell. Indeed, the number of federal regulations carrying criminal penalties may be as high as 300,000.