Russian Organized Crime Essay

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Russian Organized Crime (ROC)

The term "Russian organized crime" (ROC) refers to criminal groups from the 15 republics which comprised the former Soviet Union. ROC has existed for 20 years in the United States but during the last five years law enforcement authorities have observed a distinct increase in their criminal activities. Criminals from the former Soviet Union have established their networks in major cities and are also emerging in some smaller cities. ROC groups are involved in murder, money laundering, extortion, auto theft, weapons smuggling, narcotics trafficking, prostitution, counterfeiting currency, and a multitude of complex fraud schemes.

ROC in the United States evolved in Brighton Beach, New York, which at one
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This group existed throughout the Soviet era and is a formidable threat there today.

Ivankov spent approximately ten years in a Russian prison before bribing his way out. Russian authorities speculated that Ivankov came to the United States to organize the existing networks of Russian criminals operating within the United States, including California. He was arrested in June 1995 in New York for attempting to extort $3.5 million from an investment firm operated by two Russian émigrés. In January 1997, Ivankov was sentenced to over nine years in prison for conspiracy to commit extortion.

Law enforcement authorities have identified varying levels of organization and sophistication among these criminal networks, ranging from professional organizations with an identifiable structure to loosely aligned criminal networks and amateur criminals who periodically assist in criminal activities. The professional groups generally have an established allegiance to a leader and follow a criminal code. Prior to passage of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, the investigation and prosecution of organized criminal groups had not been conducted in a coordinated manner. Congress passed RICO with the specific intent of combating the infiltration of organized crime into legitimate businesses. Providing a wide range of criminal and civil sanctions to control organized criminal activities, prosecutors employ RICO to imprison heads of crime
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