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Feb 5th, 2015
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Week 4 Organized Crime and Criminal Investigation week 4 discussion 1

Organize Crime and Criminal Investigation

Respond to the following questions:

  • What are the attributes of an organized crime group?
  • What is R.I.C.O.?  What types of groups have been prosecuted under R.I.C.O.?
  • How are criminal investigations of organized crime different from that of other criminal investigations?  How are they similar?  
  • What are unique attributes of investigating organized crime?

Al Capone, Tony Accardo, Sam Giancana, Albert Anastasia, Joe Masseria, Joeseph, Bonanno, Paul Castellano, John Gotti, Frank Costello, Johnny Torrio, Joseph Proface, Carlos Marcello all members of organized Crime. Charles “Lucky” Luciano) was the founder of the America Mafia, Boss of the Genovese Crime Family, November, 24, 1897 - January 26, 1962, died  of a heart attack (MemoryMan1964, 2010). We need to remember the definitions of Organized Crime very from jurisdiction, and county to county. The FBI defines organized crime as any group having some manner of a formalized structure and whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities” (FBI, n.d., ). Training is needed for those who nee to combat organized crime.

The UNODC has published a series of criminal intelligence guides for managers, analysts & frontline law enforcement respectively, to serve as reference tools for law enforcement officials performing their respective roles, or to accompany & reinforce training courses in the discipline. . Supported by training are capacity building initiatives that emphasize the importance of international cooperation in the inquiry of transnational organized crime. Before a State can start to reply to criminal threats, it must first understand them. Effective responses must be based on facts as to the nature of organized crime & the extent to which organized crime groups affect States.

There are certain elements that qualify a gang to be dubbed an organized crime group. You will notice that organized crime groups thrive on illegal activities such as supplying illegal goods and services. In most cases there is always a group of individuals willing to pay for these services. An organized crime group is formed on the basis of making money. In the process, gang members gain power, pride and protection. Most organized crime groups have a system of authority that is in the form of a hierarchy. It is a form of power structure where power has been graded from the lowest to the highest (Becker, and  Dutelle, 2013).

  RICO stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and refers to the United States federal law which allows and enables prosecution of all individuals involved in a corrupt organization. The RICO Act was enacted to target mainly the mafia, but today prosecutors also use it against many forms of organized crime. These are the likes of street gangs, corrupt police departments, rogue politicians, and gang and drug cartels.

  Criminal investigations concerning organized crime groups differ from other criminal investigations mainly because in organized crimes, the crimes are mostly politically motivated. In addition, these groups are big, they are well connected and they are highly profitable and resourceful. This calls for extra measures when dealing with these sorts of criminal investigations. The similarity of investigations concerning organized crime groups and those that are not is that the end result of the investigation is prosecution (www.fbi.gov).

  Organized crime investigations are sensitive; the main reason for this is public apathy and strong political connections. However, there are unique techniques employed in organized crime investigations. These include: community policing, undercover operations, immunity and surveillance. “The most effective tool against organized crime is information and the combined federal task force. Although the media, ,may not be the syndicate it once was, black, Hispanic, and Jamaican gangs , white supremacist groups; and terrorists have taken their place.” (Becker, & Dutelle, 2013, p. 445). Organized crime will be around for a long time to come.


Becker, R. F. & Dutelle, A. W. (2013). Criminal investigation (4th ed.) Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

FBI — Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.fbi.gov › ... › Organized Crime Federal Bureau of Investigation

MemoryMan1964 (2010, July  21) Organized Crime, Part I - Chapter One & Two - The Italian-American Mobsters:[Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfNW7Gu7_2A


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