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Facts and Figures 2003

Organized Crime

The FBI's fight against organized crime is unlike other criminal programs. Instead of focusing on individual crimes, the FBI's Organized Crime Program targets the entire organization responsible for a variety of criminal activities. The FBI has found that even if key individuals in an organization are removed, the depth and financial strength of the organization often allows the enterprise to continue.

The FBI focuses its efforts on structured criminal groups that pose the greatest threat to American society. These criminal enterprises include traditional, well-entrenched organizations such as La Cosa Nostra and Italian Organized Crime, Russian/Eurasian Organized Crime, Nigerian Criminal Enterprises, and Asian Criminal Enterprises. Additionally, because many organized crime groups are drawn to the lucrative profits associated with drug trafficking, the FBI also focuses investigations on the Cali, Medellin, and North Coast Colombian drug cartels, Mexican Drug-Trafficking Organizations, and organizations based in the United States.

The dismantling or disruption of major international and national organized criminal enterprises is an area of FBI expertise. The FBI is uniquely qualified to dismantle organizations because of the experience, training and expertise of its Agents, the FBI's presence throughout the country, and its history as a methodical and thorough investigative agency. The FBI's mission is accomplished through sustained, coordinated investigations and the use of the criminal and civil provisions of the RICO statute.


In the early 1990s, Vincent "Chin" Gigante, the Boss of New York's Genovese LCN, was indicted and arrested as a result of the FBI's investigation of LCN infiltration of New York City's construction industry. Gigante was charged with ordering six murders - including that of Gambino LCN Boss John Gotti - and conspiring in three others; he was also charged with labor racketeering and extortion. Feigning mental illness, Gigante had his trial postponed twice, but in June 1997, after being ruled mentally competent, his trial began. Gigante was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. As a result of this investigation, 20 other LCN members were convicted and $4 million in illegally obtained LCN assets were forfeited.


Model of a crime scene
The FBI Laboratory creates crime scene models, like this one of a gang-related shooting, for use in court.

The FBI conducted an undercover operation targeting the drug-trafficking and money-laundering activities of the Colombia-based Diego Montoya-Sanchez organization. This investigation revealed that the Montoya-Sanchez drug-trafficking organization shipped cocaine via Ecuador to Mexico, where it was off-loaded onto trucks for land shipment to Florida, New York, and Montreal, Canada. The FBI used sources at the highest levels within Colombia and successfully engaged high-ranking members of the Montoya-Sanchez drug trafficking organization in a conspiracy to ship 2,000 kilograms of cocaine to the United States from Colombia. The FBI worked with Colombian law enforcement in efforts to locate and arrest Montoya-Sanchez. This investigation served as a case study in international and interagency cooperation. The FBI and Colombian law enforcement worked seamlessly to conduct a highly complex and broad-ranging international investigation which, with the indictment of Montoya-Sanchez, significantly impaired and disrupted the ability of a highly effective transnational criminal enterprise to operate within the United States and Colombia. The increased coordination with foreign law enforcement agencies and entities ensured the operation's ultimate success.





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