Organized Crime and Youth Gangs

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Organized Crime and Youth Gangs The FBI defines organized crime as any group of individuals jointly and systematically engaged in criminal activity for the purpose of making money (FBI, n.d.a). The FBI also provides links to various organized criminal groups on their website, with most being defined by race or ethnicity. The most famous of these groups in the United States is the Italian Mafia or La Cosa Nostra, which is translated as "this thing of ours" (FBI, n.d.b). The FBI identifies four distinct Italian mafia groups, the La Cosa Nostra (Sicilian Mafia), Camorra (Neapolitan Mafia), Calabrian (Calabria Mafia), and the Sacra Corona Unita (United Sacred Crown based in the Puglia region) (FBI, n.d.b). Of these, the American La Cosa Nostra has been the most successful organized crime group in the U.S. and over the decades has severed controlling ties with Sicily. The American La Cosa Nostra is involved primarily in drug trafficking, money laundering, and various other racketeering crimes, and operates on an international level across North and South America. The Italian Mafia was formed and molded into its current form over the past 3,000 years in response to recurrent invasions by marauding armies (FBI, n.d.b). The formation of these tight knit extended family groups helped ensure their survival and established social rules that endured through the millennia. Today, there are approximately 25,000 members worldwide, with 3,000 living in the U.S. In contrast to the

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