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17 Pages

Russian Emigre Crime in the United States: Organized Crime or Crime that is Organized?

JAMES FINCKENAUER and ELIN WARING'

In recent years there has been a tremendous amount of media, scholarly and law enforcement attention to organized crime involving migrs from the former Soviet Union. Structural approaches have proven particularly useful for the study of traditional organized crime, that is, the Cosa Nostra. Cosa Nostra maintains continuing hierarchical structures which are supported by crime and other ancillary activities and that have a division of labor. The vory v zakone may constitute the greatest potential criminal threat currently presented by Russian migrs in the United States. Organized crime is characterized by three types of harm: criminal monopoly, violence and corruption. In 1992, in response to Emigr Crime as a growing problem, the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, the New York State Commission of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Crime Commission, and the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation agreed to form the Tri-State Joint Soviet-migr Organized Crime Project (TSP).