300 word discussion response crime statutes and racketeering

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Please respond to the below post. This can be an opinion, follow-up question, discussion, remark, argument, or agreement about what was stated. Remember to stay professional in your postings. You are free to disagree or agree with something that someone has said, but you must clearly show why. Discuss how you feel their postings relate or are different from your own. Feel free to debate points, and hold a discussion!

Note: Each participation response should be a “minimum” of 300 words each (does not count references and or restating what a classmate said) and include “at least” one properly referenced source each (in accordance with APA 6th edition), for full credit. Please see the syllabus for what constitutes a “substantive” participation response.

Respond to Michael:

The establishment and evolution of labor racketeering in the United States (U.S.) is a confluence of synergistic factors. Existing Organized Crime (OC) elements exploited unique socio-political and economic trends in the U.S. to create a uniquely American form of OC (Stewart, 2006). The post-Prohibition lull in profits, mostly from the bursting alcohol sales bubble, placed OC squarely in the Great Depression. The limited opportunities for profitable venture continued through the World War 2 period, where America experienced the American Labor Movement. OC opportunists were astute enough to involve themselves in the blossoming industrial pre-war workforce (Stewart, 2006). By the end of the Korean War and the mid-1950s, OC was firmly entrenched in labor racketeering with large workers union organizations such as the International Longshoremen or the Teamsters.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded in Chicago over a century ago. Local leaders conspired with businesses to restrict competition, accept bribes, and stage strikes (Belzer & Hurd, 1999). From the start, the duality of the Teamsters was evident. While it was clearly a corrupt organization, its members benefited from controlled work hours and fair wages (Belzer& Hurd, 1999). Various national leaders of the Teamsters experienced differential success in controlling over corruption within the organization. The McClellan Committee, explicitly formed in in the 1950s to investigate Labor Union corruption, pursued Teamster president Jimmy Hoffa, eventually leading to the Teamsters national exposure and Hoffa’s arrest (Belzer & Hurd, 1999). Hoffa’s successor, Frank Fitzsimmons, is notorious for his involvement of the Teamsters with the La Costa Nostra (LCN) mafia in New Jersey and New York. A historic Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) case was brought against the Teamsters in the 1980s, marking the first time a national union was overtaken by the government for any reason. This case is controversial and much debated in criminological history because the RICO act was passed for use against overtly criminal organizations (Belzer & Hurd, 1999).

Another labor union that fell victim to RICO was the International Longshoremen Association (ILA). Unlike the Teamsters however, The Department of Justice (DoJ) dismissed this RICO against the ILA due to a failure of the state to present adequate and suitable evidence (Dondlinger, 2010). The primary enterprise of the ILA was corruption and influence of labor unions and business on the waterfront. While activities of the ILA originated in the Great Lakes region in the mid-20th century, it quickly spread to waterfront areas in New York and New Jersey (Dondlinger, 2010). OC groups had influence in the waterfront activities before the ILA, primarily within Irish and Italian urban enclaves. Eventually, the LCN mafia organization entrenched itself in the Longshoremen, facilitating the RICO case (Dondlinger, 2010).

It appears that labor racketeering has a dual nature; one that benefits employees and businesses but also invites corruption and criminal enterprise. In its early development, labor racketeers protected their business and workforce from socio-political and economic threats. A down economy can be mitigated through controlling of labor and market prices. Additionally, the early “labor-czars” in places like Chicago protected employees from corrupt law enforcement (Jacobs, 2013). In essence, labor unions are a democratic institution, one that gives workers a voice in politics and the ability to negotiate with the state. However, these groups invite organized crime, especially when increasing membership and financial motivations are apparent (Jacobs, 2013). The early development years of the labor union, the Great Depression and pre-World War 2, were a unique environment where labor racketeering benefited business. As the environment changed, however, labor racketeering became a OC enterprise.


Belzer, M., & Hurd, R. (1999). Government oversight, union democracy, and labor racketeering: Lessons from the Teamsters experience. Journal of Labor Research, 20(3), 343–365. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/214006079/

Jacobs, J. B. (2013). Is labor union corruption special? Social Research, 80(4), 1057-1086,1322. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy1.apus.edu/docv…

Stewart, R. (2006). Reflections on labor racketeering and interdisciplinary enforcement. Trends in Organized Crime, 9(4), 60–101. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12117-006-1015-6

Dondlinger, E. (2010). UNITED STATES V. INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN’S ASSOCIATION: ANALYZING THE CIVIL RICO SUIT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE. New York University Annual Survey of American Law, 65(4). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/501193522/

The Harrison Narcotics Tax act of 1914 is often associated as the starting point of the United States war on drugs (Redford, & Powell, 2016). The basic tenants of this act required anyone who imported, produced, sold, or dispensed “narcotics” to register and pay taxes. The businesses, organizations, or individuals participating in narcotic imports, at that time including raw coca leaves, were required to keep detailed records in accordance with the Harrison Act. These records would feed directly into official law enforcement activity, such as control of prescriptions and sale of these substances (Courtwright, 2015).

The enforcement of the Harrison Act fell exclusively to the Department of the Treasury (DOT). The DOT proceeded by standardizing regulations, registration forms, and reporting requirements within the Act (Hohenstein, 2001). The main purpose of the Act was an attempt to clean up the medicinal patent business and a progressive professionalization of medical regulation in the United States (U.S.). Most notably, this Act marked the first federal intervention into private medical practice. At its outset, federal revenue agents began to arrest doctors and druggists across the U.S. who were in violation of the Harrison Act’s procedures (Hohenstein, 2001). As many of the provisions within the Harrison Act were not well understood, Doctors and lobbyists asked for clarification. Several landmark Supreme Court adjudications, such as U.S. Vs Jun Fuey Moy, protected doctors against accusations of providing illicit substances to drug abusers. (Hohenstein, 2001). However, subsequent Supreme Court De4cisions would reinforce the provisions the Harrison Act, sentencing doctors who failed to register patients who were scripted illicit substances covered under the Act (Hohenstein, 2001).

The history of the Harrison Narcotics Tax act of 1914 is pertinent to the modern struggle against opiate addiction in the U.S.. Similar to now, the Harrison Act was a response to a sharp rise in opiate or narcotic consumption and subsequent addiction (Courtwright, 2015). With patent-medicine and opiate use by Americans on the rise in the early 20th Century, many states passed laws to curb sale of medicine without a prescription (Redford & Powell, 2015). As a result of these laws, interstate and international sales of these substances increased. The U.S. attempted to shed light on opium abuse and confront a growing domestic opium use problem. Generally speaking, these three lines of effort coalesced into the passage of the Harrison Act in 1914 (Redford & Powell, 2015).

As a predecessor to the modern war on drugs, the Harrison Act of 1914 addressed certain novel substances that exploded in popularity in the U.S. The first is the use of opium. Originating in Chinese enclaves, smoking opium became popular during the early 20th century with Americans (Redford & Powell, 2015). Another substance was morphine, which revolutionized how people and doctors managed pain. Despite its side effects, morphine was prescribed for more than fifty ailments in the post-Civil War era. In this prohibition-era, many organizations existed for alcohol control. Until the Harrison Act in 1914, no such initiatives existed or narcotics (Redford & Powell, 2015).

The main issue with the Harrison Act is the ambiguity with which many of the provisions are written (Hohenstein, 2001). A series of Supreme Court decisions established precedents and subsequently requested them. Additionally, this Act was pivotal in the transference of decision making power from Congress to other federal agencies (Redford & Powell, 2015). The Internal Revenue Department experienced jurisdiction, budget, and oversight problems when enforcing complex and poorly written laws. While the Harrison Act attempted to control a growing narcotics issue in the U.S. after the Civil War, it had the unintended consequence of laying the foundation for the modern war on drugs. The Harrison Act is a case study in the intervention of the federal government on perceived market failures. It established a problematic precedent against the idea of medicinal maintenance. Furthermore it normalized imprisonment for drug offenses and implementing zero-tolerance policies, the ramifications of which are being felt today (Courtwright, 2015).


Courtwright, D., (2015). Preventing and Treating Narcotic Addiction–Century of Federal Drug Control. The New England Journal of Medicine, 373(22), 2095–2097. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1508818

Hohenstein, K. (2001). Just What the Doctor Ordered: The Harrison Anti-Narcotic Act, the Supreme Court, and the Federal Regulation of Medical Practice, 1915–1919. Journal of Supreme Court History, 26(3), 231. https://doi-org.ezproxy1.apus.edu/10.1111/1059-432…

Redford, A., & Powell, B. (2016). Dynamics of Intervention in the War on Drugs: The Buildup to the Harrison Act of 1914. The Independent Review, 20(4), 509–530. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1777262409/

Forum Rubric

Zero Points





Substance (Possible 40 points)

Zero points: Student failed to respond to the question(s)

25 points: Presentation is unclear; a basic understanding of the topic and issues is not evident; explanation is lacking; segments of the required answer are lacking; sources and supporting facts are not utilized; length requirements may not have been met.

30 points: Student’s initial posting did not meet the length and or source requirements; and/or presentation evidences some confusion concerning topics under discussion; analysis may be lacking and/or elements of the question are not answered; support and references may be lacking.

35 points: Student answered/addressed most aspects of the question/topic posed in the Forum; initial posting met length and source requirements; a basic understanding of relevant concepts/theories is demonstrated; relevant sources were located; minimal or no facts/examples were used in support of presentation.

40 points: Student answered/addressed all aspects of the topic/question posed in the Forum; initial posting met length and source requirements; analysis of concepts and theories clearly demonstrates superior knowledge and a clear understanding of the topic; relevant and scholarly resources were located and used appropriately; facts and examples are used in support of presentation.

Collaboration (Possible 30 points)

Zero points: Student filed none of the required replies.

15 points: Student filed only one of the required replies OR filed the required replies but failed to meet length and or source requirements.

25 points: Student filed the minimum number of replies, meeting the length and source requirements and evidencing an understanding of the issues under discussion and the views of colleagues. Student failed to respond to specific queries posed to him by colleagues or by the Instructor. Student did not take initiative in advancing the discussion throughout the week.

30 points: Student filed at least the number of required replies and they met the length and source requirements; the replies were substantive, thoughtful responses and contributed to the discussion; student exceeded minimum requirements by answering all queries posed to him by others and remained present and actively engaged in the discussion throughout the week; student led the discussion by raising complex issues, connecting concepts, and illuminating the discussion with examples.

Timeliness (Possible 10 points)

Zero points: Student filed more than two required postings in an untimely manner.

2 points: Student filed two required postings in an untimely manner.

7 points: Student filed one required posting in an untimely manner.

10 points: Student filed all required postings in a timely manner.

Writing (Possible 10 points)

Zero points: Student failed to respond to the essay question

4 points: Writing contains several grammatical, punctuation, and/or spelling errors. Language lacks clarity or includes some use of jargon and /or conversational tone; sentence structure is awkward.

6 points: Student demonstrates consistent and correct use of the rules of grammar usage, punctuation and spelling, with a few errors; there is room for improvement in writing style and organization.

8 points: Student demonstrates consistent and correct use of the rules of grammar usage, punctuation, and spelling. Language is clear and precise throughout all submissions. Sentences display consistently strong, varied structure and organization is excellent.

10 points: Student demonstrates a quality of writing consistent with scholarly works in the relevant discipline; student is facile in the use of subject-matter vocabulary and terminology consistent with the level of instruction; student applies concepts with ease; writing style and organization are designed to successfully convey the message and the related information to the reader with maximum effect.

Citations (Possible 10 points)

Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references

4 points: Citations of reference sources exist; citations apparently correspond to the correct source but do not enable the reader to locate the source. APA 6thedition format not evident.

6 points: Attempts to cite reference sources are made, but the reader has difficulty finding the sources; attempts to useAPA 6th edition format are evident but poorly executed

8 points: Reference sources are cited as necessary, but some components of the citations are missing and/or APA 6th edition format is faulty in some respects.

10 points: Reference sources relied on by the student are cited appropriately and accurately. No writing of others is left without quotation and/or attribution, as appropriate. APA 6thedition format is used correctly and consistently.


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