Several years ago state prosecutors began using the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statutes on a broad scale to dismantle violent gangs. Word on the street is that more and more, prosecutors are winning with RICO.
Recent news included two stories of Palm Beach County law enforcement dealing severe blows to violent gangs by leveling RICO charges against alleged gang members. Sheriff’s Lt. Mike Wallace, who heads the county gang task force, says that “The only way to take on gangs is to dismantle them,” and “Arresting them [alleged gang members] is a good way to start.”
Prosecutors are trained in how to get gang members to “flip” on each other, and you need definitive investigative data in order to best serve your client. If your client may be involved, it is imperative that you have the best resources available to thoroughly investigate predicate criminal acts and determine whether or not your client had any role in the conspiracy. Complete Legal Investigations can help.
Our experienced professional investigators can determine how (if) the predicate act is related to the conspiracy and identify and interview any witnesses to the predicate act. We can help determine whether the original predicate act was a valid case or just a plea of convenience. If we determine that your client was involved, we can clearly define their role.
RICO charges are conceptual in nature, and your clarity is especially vital when dealing with RICO cases. Murder, intimidation of witnesses, kidnapping, obstructing justice, counterfeiting, theft of interstate shipments, human trafficking, and drug offenses are among the more obvious predicate crimes addressed by RICO. But bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, and even obscenity are also considered predicate acts. Under RICO statutes, even a legitimate business may be subject to forfeiture because its owner has committed a crime in the course of its operation. Your client may be very surprised to realize that under RICO statues he or she may face a maximum prison sentence of 30 years to 75 years to life.
Some RICO cases have been successfully appealed on the grounds that RICO statutes conflict with the basic constitutional protections afforded all criminal defendants. Do you have the time and skill to uncover the information you would need to make such an argument? Complete Legal Investigations has both. Our professional investigators can conduct the investigation you need to make a valid argument based on Fifth and Sixth Amendment concerns.
Gangs are believed to cause most of the violent crime in the state, and Lt. Wallace estimates that 60 percent to 80 percent of the violent crime in Palm Beach County is gang-related. Since a statewide grand jury on gangs met in Palm Beach County in 2007 and 2008, RICO charges have spread throughout the state, and state prosecutors and citizens are seeing the impact of courtroom successes.
Your clients rely on you for insightful counsel and topnotch representation. You owe it to them to thoroughly review and evaluate predicate acts in relation to RICO charges, and the investigators at Complete Legal Investigations are the resource you need to get the job done. Call us today at 561-687-8381