Many authors have explained the concept of organized crime through various characteristics. After reviewing how organized crime became established in the United States, this entry describes the similarities and differences between two general types of organized crime groups in the United States: traditional Sicilian organized crime groups (referred to as “The Mafia” or La Cosa Nostra) and newly emerging groups. The entry concludes with remarks about the projected futures of these general types of organized crime groups operating in the United States.

Establishment of Organized Crime in the United States

To many people, the term organized crime conjures an image fostered by Hollywood as a gang of Italian mobsters dealing in the illegal alcohol of Prohibition, prostitution, gambling, and drugs. While the Sicilian gangs may have been ...

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