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Cja 464 Wk 1

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Organized Crime Policy Analysis

CJA/464
July 28, 2014

Controlling Organized Crime Paper
The Economy and national security are at risk; organized crime is a major threat to the United States. According to K. M. Finklea, “the Organized Crime Council was reconvened for the first time in 15 years to address this continued threat, (2010). Over the years organized crime has changed with the internet, and the continued boarder battle, it has extended out to other countries making it almost imposable to stay on top of these major crime syndicates. A variety of threats have come from criminal organizations, such as, Russian, Asian, Balkan, and the Middle East syndicates. Law makers wonder if they have provided enough tools to law enforcement to allow them to deal with the organized crime of today’s level.

Policy makers have voiced concerns over possible connections between terrorism groups and organized crime syndicates. Even though there are many differences between organized crime and terrorist groups, they both have a common goal; profit, and power. Policy makers fear that terrorist groups may potentially get funding directly from organized crime groups.
Many organized crime groups that have formed an alliance with terrorist groups are usually only in business short-term, according to K. M. Finkley, (2010); however, they is still a concern.

One of the most interesting characteristics of organized crime is the ability to stay organized, and go undetected; some for years. Many of these groups able to steal millions before they are detected or worse put millions of dollars worth of drugs and guns on the street. Organized crime groups are involved in drugs, guns, and some of them fund terrorist groups, using fraudulent schemes, identity theft, and many other tactics to help avoid detection. People’s perception of organized crime comes from watching television many people are really un-aware of the extent it has become over the last 20 years. It is not like it was 40 or so years ago when the Mafia was still going strong. The average person thinks about the Mafia, and drug dealers, not the interworking of highly organized criminals, who specialize in crimes capable of making millions. Movies and the media have directed people’s perceptions of organize crime. Law makers have cracked down on political members involved in criminal organizations. Laws have been created to impact organized crime, such as RICO; however, there are some negatives to RICO. According to Mallory, S. L. “One of the most problematic aspects of the RICO statute is that it fails to provide operational definitions of the terms organized crime and racketeering, ”(2007).
RICO was intended to attack large organized crime syndicates through both criminal and civil lawsuits, Mallory, S. L. (2007).

“Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968,” K. M. Finkley, (2010). In 1968 when the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street act was implemented, it was one of the first major advancements in controlling organized crime; according to K. M Finkley, “the Law Enforcement
Assistance Administration (LEAA) 18 to state law enforcement agencies to combat organized
Crime,” (2010). Wire tapping of communications within these groups was a necessary aid to law enforcement. The interception of these communications could help law enforcement detect criminal behavior and proceed with prosecution. According to Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control act, it permits “federal law enforcement agencies to wiretap conversations of suspected criminals, including suspects of organized crime”, K. M. Finkley (2010). In 1970 when the Organized Crime act was put into law, along with the RICO law to follow. Policy makers were finally on their way to trying to control organized crime.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, by Al-Qaeda, the congressional and national law enforcement priorities changed from customary crime fighting to counterterrorism.
More recently, there has been an increase in attention to more traditional crime including organized crime. In fact according to K. M. Finkley, after a 15-year hiatus, the
Organized Crime Council met in April 2008 for the first time since 1993, specifically “to discus organized crime, and how it has shifted toward the transnational nature of organized crime,” (2010). Organized is more of a threat today because it has branched out over the borders, and has now become a global problem. There have been quite a few successful prosecutions since the Organized crime act of 1970 was signed into law. Fallowing the Organized crime Act, the Rico Act was more commonly used, prosecutors have successfully prosecuted many cases but there have been many cases that did not quite meet the correct guidelines. In 1979 the United States Government attempted to prosecute several members of the motorcycle gang Hells Angels under Rico; however, According to Mallory, s. l. “The jury acquitted Barger on the RICO charges with a hung jury on the predicate acts: "There was no proof it was part of club policy, and as much as they tried, the government could not come up with any incriminating minutes from any of our meetings mentioning drugs and guns,"(2007). In 2006, prosecutors successfully prosecuted several members of the Gambino family under RICO, those members are now serving a life sentence.

The battle over organized crime is not going to be easy; law enforcement agencies still lack man power, and education when it comes to organized criminal groups. The more researchers know about organized crime, the more educated they become in learning how to combat it. Policy makers need this information, so they are able to make more of an impact on organized crime. Organized criminal groups are pro's at avoiding detection and they change their habits frequently. Law makers and law enforcement also need to be willing to revisit tactics, and policies; there will always be a loop whole, and it is best not to leave to many holes with these professionals. Organized criminals will continue to be an issue if law makers are not proactive. The old ways will no longer work in our modern days of technology. Policy makers are realizing this and continuing to change laws to help before the battle is completely lost. Some of the current laws used to combat organized crime are in fact dysfunctional, focusing on the individual rather than the group, Mallory, S. L. (2007). The enormous size of organized crime groups are a force to be recon with, law makers need to focus on demand and supply of services. Policies over the years have influenced organized crime, causing it to change frequently. If law makers target those who demand these goods they have a better opportunity to get inside of the organization.

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Resources
Kristin M. Finklea, (2010). Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress. Retrieved July 25, 2014, from http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40525.pdf Lyman, M. D., & Potter, G. W. (2007). Organized crime (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, Retrieved July 24, 2014, from University of Phoenix

Mallory, S. L. (2007). Understanding organized crime. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from University of Phoenix…...

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