All About the RICO Act

RICO stands for the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. It was a groundbreaking piece of legislation passed in 1970 with the goal of financially crippling the Mafia. However, it evolved to have a variety of applications against identified street gangs. Targeted activity may include illegal gambling, bribery, kidnapping, murder, money laundering, counterfeiting, drug trafficking and a host of other unsavory business practices.

To convict a defendant under RICO, the government must prove that the defendant engaged in two or more instances of racketeering activity and that the defendant directly invested in, maintained an interest in or participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

— Source:


Six Syracuse street gangs have been involved in RICO prosecutions:

In 2003, Boot Camp, based at Midland Avenue and Colvin Street
• 24 members charged

In 2005, Elk Block, centered on Elk Street, between South Salina Street and Interstate 81
• 16 members charged

In 2006, Brighton Brigade, centered on Brighton Avenue and South Salina Street
• 14 members charged

In 2009, 110, multi-block area with borders of Tallman Street to the north, Onondaga Avenue to the west, Centennial Drive to the South and South and Lincoln avenues to the east
• 12 members charged

In 2011, Bricktown, centered from Burt on the north to East Colvin on the south, and from South State on the west to Interstate 81 on the east
• 13 members charged

In 2012, V-Not, Valley area into the South Side with West Newell Street as the northern border
• 11 members charged


— Source: Compiled from news accounts and indictments




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