VIDEO BIKER NEWS EDITION- Morning Biker News 12-5 -2020 Edition Of Motorcycle Madhouse Morning Mayhem
Ep 428-The RICO Act used against motorcycle clubs like Hells Angels MC and Pagans MC
The RICO Act, passed by Congress in 1970, has been used to break up criminal organizations like the Mafia and Hell’s Angels. The idea behind the RICO Act is to take on whole organizations rather than targeting individual members. In order to gain a RICO conviction, prosecutors have to prove a defendant has performed two or more underlying crimes — such as murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking and wire fraud — as a part of a criminal enterprise.Unlike a simple conspiracy, where two or more people get together to commit a crime, the “criminal enterprise” must be an organization that exists independently from the folks committing the crime.
For instance, if Jack, Joe and Mary get together and sell dope out of their trailer, that’s a conspiracy. If Jack, Joe and Mary join the Pagans Motorcycle Club and sell dope on behalf of the organization, that could be a RICO Act violation. That’s because the Pagans would be an organization that stands on its own.
In addition to doing it as a part of an organization, prosecutors have to prove that a defendant had some decision-making power in the venture. Going back to our dope dealers, if a federal prosecutor can prove they were setting street-level prices, that shows they had some say in how the organization was run.
One of the biggest factors in a RICO violation is if the crimes affect interstate commerce. With the dope dealer’s example, moving a little bit of meth might not meet that standard. But if Jack, Joe and Mary start trafficking firearms on behalf of the organization, that could meet the standard.
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