Controlling Organized Crime Essay Sample

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Organized crime continually has caused numerous law enforcement agencies throughout the world to reevaluate criminal apprehension tactics. Organized criminal activities have plagued almost every country within the world, caused thousands of deaths, and generated billions of dollars from illegal activities. The immense problems presented, various relationships established, and the legal limitations associated with combating organized crime will be identified, dissected, and examined. A critical evaluation of major Federal laws and strategies used to fight against criminal organizations will also be examined along with a realistic solution to control organized crime while placing emphasis on criminal prosecution, criminal sentencing structures, and criminal involvement. Theories of Organized Crime

A multitude of theories support differentiated perspectives in reference to organized crime, organizational structures, and command structures. “One of the most widely held theories of organized crime today is known as the alien conspiracy theory. This theory blames outsiders and outside influences for the prevalence of organized crime in U.S. society.”( (Lyman & Potter, 2007, p. 60). The alien conspiracy theory is extremely relevant in reference to the migration of criminal organizations from foreign lands coming to America in search of new beginnings. The Italians, Irish, and Russians are just a few of the ethnic group that migrated to America, reinforced previous criminal structures within America, and flourished based on a the lack of knowledge in reference to organized criminal syndicates.

The rational choice theory support one’s ability to weigh the negative and positive consequences in reference to committing criminal actions. The rational choice theory is also extremely relevant when attempting to identify the rational support structure in correlation with complying with the rules and regulations upheld within a criminal organization. For some individuals becoming a member of a criminal organization far outweighs the opposite, which can be identified as the law-abiding citizen who work for little pay, saves his or her money, and lives a meager existence. The most prevalent aspect in correlation with this theory is one’s ability to choose right or wrong;, thus making the rational choice theory extremely valid. Presented Problems

Organized criminal syndicates present vast problems in reference to law enforcement, general society, and the preservation of civilized society. Organized criminal actions include narcotics manufacturing, narcotics transportation, narcotics sales, prostitution, racketeering, arms smuggling, human smuggling, and multiple other criminal actions. Criminal organizations can grow to excessive numbers;, thus posing a problem for law enforcement agencies attempting to control the jurisdiction to which the organization conducts business. Criminal organizations generally have no respect for law enforcement officers. This perspective incorporated with multiple individuals, and reinforced with military grade weapons is an extremely serious problem presented by organized criminal syndicates.

Criminal organizations have begun to place emphasis on faceless crimes with the ability to gain extensive amounts of money by defrauding others through Internet sales. “The technological and organizational opportunity to set up global networks has transformed, and empowered, organized crime” (Lyman & Potter, 2007, p. 5). One’s perspective of an individual associated with a criminal organization may be the traditional theatrical perspective highlighting the man in the pinstripe suit, holding a Thomson 45. caliber sub-machine gun, and speaking rough Italian. This is not the case when attempting to identify the members of various criminal organizations.

Criminal organizations are operating within every corner of the globe. The associated members are different color, races, creeds, and genders. Some associates are soldiers, others are computer geniuses, and others control the organizations without resistance. The overwhelming problem criminal organizations present is the obvious disregard for the socially regulated systems of law, finance, and control. Criminal organization disregard the law, disregard taxes, and disregard social structure. Relationships Established: Organized Crime

A multitude of relationships are formed through organized criminal operations. Not all relationships formed are positive, beneficial, or pleasant. Generally, criminal organizations attempt to gain the support of corrupt law enforcement professionals, prosecutors, justices, political figures, and corporate figures to aid with the obtainment of illegally generated funds. Some criminal organizations support more of a respect-based relationship system;, thus placing emphasis on the patron-client model. Respect, honor, and devotion are characteristics supported within the patron-client model as well, while other organizations support more of a military approach.

The bureaucratic model reinforces an expendable perception of associates, business partners, and affiliates. As previously highlighted some of the relationships formed within criminal organizations are not positive. The main goal of a criminal organization is to control an area, contain illegal practices, and generate funding from illegal actions; thus another organization trespassing into another’s territory would cause indefinite conflict among the groups. A multitude of criminal organizations are at war with another organization because of similar interests. Many lives have been lost because of organization conflicts. An example of the negative relationships established among criminal organizations can be highlighted within Mexico. “The two most important criminal organizations in Mexico are engaged in all-out war, and the most spectacular battles are being fought for the cameras as the combatants pursue a strategy of intimidation and propaganda”(Booth, 2012, p. 1). Legal Limitations: Organized Crime

The most identifiable limitation that hinders the ability of law enforcement agencies from thoroughly combating criminal organizations are the laws for which the organizations uphold. Federal, state, and municipal entities are confined to specific jurisdictional limitations as criminals are not. An organization that conducts business in Boston, Massachusetts, may be notified of FBI surveillance, and flee to Ireland. The FBI has no jurisdiction in Ireland; therefore the criminals are safe until they return to America again. Constitutional rights allotted to America citizen also hinder the abilities of law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies must place emphasis on an individual’s due process rights supporting the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of American citizens suspected of committing illegal activities.

Implemented Federal legal aids, such as the RICO act, Money laundering control act, and mandatory minimum sentencing structures for narcotics sales, distribution, and possession have allowed law enforcement agencies throughout American to strengthen efforts against criminal organizations. The Rico Act is by far the most significant combative legal aid implemented to aid law enforcement agencies with the war on organized criminal syndicates. “At the federal level, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act [RICO] and related conspiracy statutes have become the preferred weapons for removing gang leaders from the streets”(Gibeaut, 2005, p. 1).

Ideally, Street gangs attempting to mirror mafia-style criminal organizations have also began to gain the attention of Federal, state, and municipal agencies. The RICO act can be applied to any organization that attempts to generate illegal funding as the result of committed criminal actions. The RICO act not only identifies racketeering, extortion, or murder for hire as punishable criminal actions under the RICO act. Kidnapping, arson, narcotics manufacturing, narcotics sales, class-three weapons possession, and slavery are also identified within the RICO act. Organized Crime: Control Solutions

Combating organized crime is extremely difficult because criminal organizations provide services, substances, and items not easily obtained legally within America. Theoretically, the answer to controlling organized crime is simply to eliminate the illegal stipulations linked to the services, substances, and objects the organizations provide. An organization cannot control extensive narcotics trades if the government controls the narcotic substances. If an individual can go to a pharmacy and obtain an ounce of pure cocaine, pay the tax attached to the substance by the government, and return home the for illegally obtained product will cease to exist;, thus removing the power from criminal organizations.

The word “illegal” reinforces the power of criminal organizations. It is illegal to possess heroin, automatic firearms without a class-three FFL, or obtain sexual services from another individual for money. Eliminating illegal classifications, regulating narcotics, and maintaining governmental supervisions over sought services will cripple criminal organizations. This suggestion may not seem feasible, realistic, or beneficial; although countries that have control over narcotics, weapons, and what American culture perceives to be illegal activities do not have the extensive problems with organized criminal groups as America, Mexico, or South America countries. Realistically, “decriminalization will never happen in the United States because the American people will oppose the legal sale of substances that can destroy healthy bodies and so easily degrade the human spirit while increasing crime” (Roberts, 2012, p. 1).

The immense problems presented, various relationships established, and the legal limitations associated with combating organized crime have been identified, dissected, and examined. A critical evaluation of major Federal laws and strategies used to fight against criminal organizations have also been examined along with a realistic solution to control organized crime while placing emphasis on criminal prosecution, criminal sentencing structures, and criminal involvement. Realistically, criminal organizations will flourish as long as individuals within civilized society seek illegal services, substances, and objects. The task of combating criminal organizations is extremely difficult for law enforcement agencies because of the lack of societal reinforcement throughout the world. If society collectively reinforced law instead of illegal substances, illegal services, or illegal items the need to combat criminally organized super powers would be nonexistent. In order to eliminate criminal organizations one must gain control of the services, substances, and objects that give the organizations financial stability;, thus removing the need for the organization.


Booth, W. (2012, May 24). Mexico’s Two Major Crime Cartels Now at War. Washington Post. Retrieved from

Gibeaut, J. (2005). Laws Against Gang Activities Reduce Gang Violence. In W. Dudley & L. I. Gerdes (Eds.), Opposing Viewpoints. Gangs. San Diego: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from ABA Journal, 1998, January, 64-68) Retrieved from Lyman, M. D., & Potter, G. W. (2007). Organized crime (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Roberts, J. (2012). The United States Should Not Legalize Drugs but Should Support the Defeat of Drug Cartels. In D. Haugen & S. Musser, Opposing Viewpoints. Mexico. Detroit: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from The United States Must Help Mexico Defeat Narco-Insurgencies,, 2009) Retrieved from

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