Presentation – organized crime in Florida


  • Organized crime threatens the safety and well being of global citizens.
  • Definition “Any group having some manner of a formalized structure and whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities” (Federal Bureau of Investigations – FBI, n.d, p. 1).
  • Historically activities – “gambling, prostitution, labor racketeering, smuggling/trafficking, extortion, theft, murder, and money laundering” – are illegal under various federal and state legislations (Finklea, 2010, p. 1).
  • Emerging activities due to changing characteristics of the groups – distracting strategic economic sectors (e.g. energy), providing support to terror groups, and using cyberspace to defraud vulnerable citizens (Finklea, 2010).
  • Costs – economic , social and cultural and health –  adversely affects activities that add value to the quality of life.
  • Purpose of the presentation – to evaluate various aspects of organized crime in Florida such as ; impacts on the community, efforts to reduce organized crime and comparing these with other countries.

Impacts of Organized Crime in Florida

  • Type of organized crime in Florida – local criminal gangs (Florida House of Representative, 2008).
  • Occurrence – every city including “small rural towns, upper middle-class neighborhoods, and schools” (Florida House of Representative, 2008, p. 2).
  • Main activity – street-level distribution of illegal drugs such as cocaine, lysergic acid diethylamide, heroin, ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ) and marijuana (Florida House of Representative, 2008).
  • Impacts – Individual level and community level.
  • Individual level – heightened risk of friends being recruited, reduced social interactions, insecurity.
  • Community level – Insecurity ; Daily experiences of fear of in highly affected lower-income neighborhoods (Florida House of Representative, 2008).
  • National – support to terror groups a threat to preservation of human life (Florida House of Representative, 2008).
  • With all these contributions, the social, health and economic costs of the gangs in the community are enormous (Florida House of Representative, 2008).

Efforts to Combat Organized crime

  • Combating organized crime can be at the Federal, State and local levels.
  • Federal – FBI is the main agency charged with combating organized crime in the U.S. (Finklea, 2010).

–Uses Enterprise Theory of Investigation (ETI) tool – identification of the group , its activities, and it’s financial assets for possible forfeiture to weaken its financial base (Finklea, 2010).

  • Florida – preventative , intervention and suppression programs (Florida House of Representative, 2008).

–Preventative programs  –  educating middle school children to avert their recruitment into gangs e.g. Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T).

–Intervention programs  – target individuals already entrenched into gang activities for rehabilitation  – e.g. caught in the crossfire program.

–Suppression programs  – integrate partnerships with groups such as religious ones, collecting intelligence and laws to delineate punitive measures

  • Results – Positive – e.g. caught in the cross fire- engaged youths are “70% less likely to be arrested and 60% less likely to evidence criminal involvement than hospitalized youth who did not partake in the program” (Florida House of Representative, 2008, p. 11).

Comparative Assay

  • Comparative assay of effects with China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, England, France, and Germany

(a)China  – Main activities in respective order of seriousness –  Drug distribution, Gambling and prostitution, violence (Gonzales, Schofield, & Hagy, 2007).

Impacts –   Retarded economic growth – monopolized some wholesale  businesses, protection by local authorities,  municipal, local and regional problem; social costs  – sexual exploitation and smuggling for labor (Gonzales, eta al., 2007)

(a)Japan : Activities – organized crime groups (Yakuza) – gambling, prostitution, amphetamine trafficking, and the victimization of legitimate business (Gonzales, eta al., 2007).

Impacts – Economic impacts (e.g victimization of legitimate business); social costs (e.g. prostitution).

(a)Saudi Arabia – Activities – illegal trafficking of endangered species; transnational crimes (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, n.d). Impacts – economic (loss of foreign exchange), Social (international conflicts)

(d) England – main activities – drugs, organized immigration crime, fraud, cyber crime, firearms and armed robbery (SOCA, 2010)

Impacts – loss of revenue – entire UK drug related laundering is ₤ 1 million per month (SOCA, 2010) Social – strain on amenities from trafficked  persons (SOCA, 2010).

(e) France – main activities – drugs, fraud, cyber crime, firearms and armed robbery

Impacts – loss of revenue – entire UK drug related laundering is ₤ 1 million per month (SOCA, 2010) Social – strain on amenities from trafficked  persons.

(F) Germany – main activities – drug trafficking, violence – witness protection laws (Hilger, n.d)

Impacts – Economic and social, health – injuries from violent crimes


  • Organized crime has significant adverse economic, social and health outcomes
  • Florida main forms – local gangs involved mainly in distribution of illegal drugs.
  • Impacts – social impacts (e.g. fear of attacks), economic (illegal trade reduces taxes) and health (hospitalization)
  • Efforts – preventative (e.g. G.R.E.A.T), Intervention (e.g. caught in cross fire), suppression (partnerships, intelligence and legislative).
  • Similarities with other countries – drug trafficking, violence.
  • Differences – Prostitution not a major factor as in the Asian countries (China , and Japan).


Federal Bureau of Investigations – FBI (n.d). Organized crime. Retrieved August, 07, 2010, from

Finklea, K. M. (2010). Organized crime in the United States: Trends and issues for congress. Retrieved August, 07, 2010, from

Florida House of Representatives (2008). Organized crime groups in Florida. Retrieved August, 07, 2010, from

Gonzalez, A. R., Schofield, R. B.,  Hagy, D. W. (2007): Asian Transnational Organized Crime and Its Impact on the United States. National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved August, 07, 2010, from

Hilger, J. P. W. (n.d). Organized crime / Witness protection in Germany. Resource Material Series No. 58, 99-105. Retrieved August, 07, 2010, from

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (n.d). Position paper for the commission on crime prevention and criminal justice. Retrieved August, 07, 2010, from

Serious Organized Crime Agency – SOCA (2010). Annual report and accounts. Retrieved August, 07, 2010, from

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