The American Mafia – Legal Issues, Values, & Ethics

Introduction

This paper discusses the major regulatory and legal requirements that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will operate under while the combating the activities of the American Mafia and other organized crime groups. The focus of this paper on FBI as the most appropriate agency for combating the affairs of the American Mafia and other organized crime groups is significant. It is essential to note that Federal Bureau of Investigation is a national security organization that is threat-focused and intelligence-driven and it bears both law enforcement and intelligence responsibilities. Besides being a complete member organization of the intelligence community of the United States, it is, also, the U.S. Department of Justice’s main investigative arm. Being an organization that conducts investigative operations with the aim of protecting the United States against foreign intelligence and terrorist threats, and enforcing and upholding the U.S. criminal laws, FBI, also, experiences situations of moral dilemma just like other law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement is a unique profession where its officials experience a host of liberties that the general public cannot access. Some of unique freedoms include high speed driving and use of deadly force. Therefore, upholding legal issues, values and ethics in the FBI is essential for helping manage the contemporary challenges that face law enforcement agencies. This will maintain the agency’s steadfastness in fighting terrorist networks and other organized crimes such as the American Mafia.

Regulatory and Legal Requirements for FBI

Over 3,000 federal criminal statutes have been enacted by Congress over the years. Therefore, as the only national government’s all-purpose investigative agency, the FBI can apply most of these laws in in the course of performing its daily enforcement activities. Any individual that the FBI charges with criminal offenses following its investigation is never accused of violating just a single regulation.  What the agency does is that it charges criminals under separate laws; for instance, an apprehended American Mafia drug dealer might face separate laws concerning racketeering, money laundering and illegal distribution of drugs.

The FBI will operate under the following major regulatory and legal requirements namely executive orders, military regulations, and laws.

Executive Orders

As the federal government’s primary investigative agency, the FBI will have the responsibility and power to conduct any investigations into any form of violations of the federal law. Following the 9/11 incident, it became obvious that there was need for expansion of the functions of the FBI in order to enable the agency confront the harsh contemporary realities. The expansion of these functions occurred in line with the conclusions of national commissions, inquiries and enactments of Congress, and decisions of the Attorney General and the President. Pursuant to Executive Order 12333; 50 U.S.C.401 et seq, the FBI will have authority to conduct investigations into threats to the security of the nation. The FBI will conduct investigations to identify, receive information, or avert threats to the national security.

Military Regulations

In regard to military regulations, the FBI recognizes that intelligence is a crucial aspect in every substantial operation that the US government engages in. In this regards, the FBI officials will always ensure that people who manage the strategic interests of the nation receive the most reliable information. The FBI will support a wide spectrum of consumers ranging from the president, Congress, Cabinet, to the military forces.

Laws

It will be the primary responsibility of the FBI to perform investigative jurisdiction as far as all criminal laws are concerned except in cases where the statute assigns the role to another agency. In respect to Title 18, United States Code, Section 2314 and 2315, the FBI will control the activities of the American Mafia and criminal gangs to ensure that there is no interstate transportation of stolen items and other forms of property. In respect to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951, the FBI will ensure that no criminal gang members interfere with commerce through threats of violence.

Implications of Regulatory and Legal Requirements

FBI’s application of executive orders will have immense implication on the American Mafia and other organized crime groups. The latest executive order, which President Obama signed in 2011 provide an outline of harsh sanctions against international organized crime groups. In this case, the sanctions include barring entry of members into the United States, freezing assets of the group or members, and those of the people who aid them. The order is meant to affect a number of criminal gang groups that include Eastern Europe’s Brothers’ Circle, Southern Italy’s Camorra, Japan’s Yakuza, Mexican’s Los Zetas, and America’s American Mafia. The new executive order, also, introduces a new strategy to the FBI and the Justice Department in their fight against domestic and transnational threats. In regard to the American Mafia, the FBI’s application of executive order will enable it dismantle the major resources that the crime group relies upon to perpetrate crimes. This will entail targeting off-share banks and shell corporations. It is essential to note that application of executive orders will enable the FBI through treasury to freeze the American financial system and the assets belonging to the American Mafia and pursue charges against its members.

FBI’s application of military regulations will have immense implication on the American Mafia and other organized crime groups. In this regard; however, they will have to act in collaboration with the members of the military unit. This will be essential for providing the necessary reinforcement that can facilitate successful dismantling of the American Mafia and other criminal gang groups. Whenever criminal gangs and other criminal terrorist groups seem overwhelming for FBI and other enforcement agencies, the military forces will be deployed in the new environment to work in collaboration with the investigative agency. Besides implementation of military regulation, there will be need for the various states to employ strategies for dismantling criminal gangs and forward its members to the courts for criminal prosecution.

FBI’s application of laws will have immense implication on the American Mafia and other organized crime groups. It is worth noting that the federal legislation permits the U.S. Attorneys and the Department of Justice to increase the penalty for any forms of crime that may have been committed by criminal gang members. In most cases, the federal-level prosecution of gang crimes depends specific codes for crimes committed.  By successfully applying “Criminal Street Gangs 18 U.S.C. Sec 521”, which is a federal gang specific statute, there will be a decreased expansion and spread of organized criminals.

Code of Values and Ethics

  • The FBI officials shall meet their duty obligations as required by the law by providing service to the community and protecting everyone against any form of illegal acts, in line with the expectations of the profession.
  • While conducting their duties, the FBI officials shall always protect and respect human dignity and observe all persons’ human rights.
  • The FBI officials will apply force only in the strict sense of necessity as well as to the extent that their duty requires.
  • Matters of confidentiality shall be kept confidential by the FBI officials, unless the needs of justice demand otherwise.
  • The FBI officials shall at all times protect the health of any persons in their custody, and shall secure immediate medical attention as deemed necessary.
  • The FBI officials shall not be involved in any issues of corruption.

Conclusion

This paper discussed the major regulatory and legal requirements that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will operate under while the combating the activities of the American Mafia and other organized crime groups. As the federal government’s primary investigative agency, the executive orders will enable the FBI have the responsibility and power to conduct any investigations into any form of violations of the federal law. FBI’s application of executive orders will have immense implication on the American Mafia and other organized crime groups. They will introduce a new strategy to the FBI and the Justice Department in their fight against domestic and transnational threats. Besides implementation of military regulation, there will be need for the various states to employ strategies for dismantling criminal gangs and forward its members to the courts for criminal prosecution. Regarding application of laws against criminal gang activities, it should be clear that the federal legislation permits the U.S. Attorneys and the Department of Justice to increase the penalty for any forms of crime that may have been committed by criminal gang members.

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