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Can Making Neighborhoods Safer Boost Organized Crime?

A new study argues that innovative crime-reduction policies can lead to an increase in organized crime activities. Even though the impact may be temporary, according to author Iain W. Long of Cardiff University, his findings suggests a shrewd crime boss can undermine those strategies.

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How U.S. Policy Aids Cuban Crime Rings

In September, police in Grand Rapids, MI arrested four people for skimming credit account numbers from gas pumps, copying the data onto new cards, and using them to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards at big box retailers. These were not local Michigan crooks, however. They were Cuban citizens living in South Florida. Across the U.S., Cuban crime rings are quietly stealing billions of dollars from U.S. businesses and taxpayers. It's a phenomenon we at the Sun Sentinel documented […]

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The Islamic State's Crime Connection

Islamic State now ranks at the forefront of terror groups around the world which fund their operations from criminal activities, one of the country's top organized crime experts said last week. “They're making money from illegal activities ranging from cigarette smuggling and oil theft to stolen antiquities,” Louise Shelly of George Mason University told a panel on the “Crime-Terror Nexus” at the American Society of Criminology annual convention in Washington DC. Although other violent groups such as the Taliban and […]

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Jury Acquits Mobster Of Planning 1978 Lufthansa ‘Goodfellas’ Heist

An aging mobster who stayed in the shadows for decades under the Mafia’s strict code of silence was acquitted yesterday of charges he helped plan the legendary 1978 Lufthansa heist retold in the hit film “Goodfellas,” the Associated Press reports. A federal jury reached the surprising verdict after hearing testimony that portrayed Vincent Asaro, 80, as a throwback to an era when New York’s five organized crime families were a secret society that committed brazen crimes and settled scores with […]

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When Justice Wasn't Blind

What are the experiences of African-Americans in the criminal justice system? And what forces led this community to be so intertwined with the justice system? African Americans and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia is a newly released effort to explore these questions. The encyclopedia provides a unique overview of the wide range of African-American experiences with the law and justice system, starting with Colonial times. In addition to chronicling the racial origins of legislation enacted by many states and the federal […]

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Was It Overkill To Use Racketeering Law To Convict Atlanta Educators?

Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in 1970 out of a concern over rising mob infiltration of unions and corporations. It was aimed at jailing gangsters behind killings that were plaguing New York and New Jersey. The Los Angeles Times says that when eight Atlanta educators were convicted under a state RICO statute of manipulating their pupils’ test scores and sentenced to prison this week, many were surprised that the law had been stretched so far. […]

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Caviar's Last Stand

Every spring, game warden Rob Farr patrols the reservoirs of the Osage River in central Missouri, near the town of Warsaw. A tall, bluff, gray-haired man in his late 50s, he's worked as a Missouri Department of Conservation warden for 34 years, and he gives the rare impression of a man who thoroughly enjoys his job. “It's just satisfying to catch someone who needs caught,” he says. Most of the violations he encounters on the water are minor: fishermen or […]