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RICO Act: Effectiveness in Curtailing the Irish Mafia, Specifically the "Westies" in New York City - Essay Example
Author : makennaoconner
Pages 25 (6275 words)
Kelly, et al (11994) wrote that "In the 1930s contradictory public demands for illicit goods and services produced huge profits for gangsters and financed their entry into legitimate business, enabling them to gain some marginal degree of respectability," so that illicit and the legal activities became inseparable as monies from both sides of the industries mixed and were used as one and the same mode of trade.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, 18 U.S.C. 1961-68 as amended in 1999 provided the backbone that law enforcers needed to pin down notorious criminals that went around with the law using tainted and questionable money mostly coming from extortion and blackmail. For, as Kelly, et al (1994) acknowledged, "Good police work narrows the focus of the investigation and, better yet, assigns the investigation to one who knows the territory, the actors on the scene, and their activities. In practice and of necessity, police--and probably prosecutors--develop a powerful sense of autonomy that operates beyond the usual devices for control. The autonomy of law enforcement personnel is a crucial element in a history of organized crime in America, for in defining the target of investigations, the enforcers, in effect, define the subject matter of their efforts and that becomes the subject matter of the history. Because the definition of organized crime has never enjoyed even the semblance of consensus, efforts to control it have similarly been the ad hoc product of those doing the enforcing."
The Irish Mob or Irish Mafia is one of the oldest organized crime groups that dated back to the 1800s (Wikipedia, ...