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RICO: Prosecuting the American Mob

September 15, 2023-December 15, 2023

Law enforcement has diligently worked to combat organized crime for generations. In the 20th Century, the American government pushed for the apprehension of those involved in organized crime, particularly the syndicate known as La Cosa Nostra. This predominantly Italian-American mob dominated cities throughout the country, including New York City. Following decades of highly profitable mob operations, Congress passed the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) as part of a broader legislation targeting organized crime in 1970. The act finally gave law enforcement the tools they needed to take down mob leaders.

The RICO Act provides prosecutors with the ability to hold members of a criminal organization accountable for crimes committed by those within the group even if they were not physically involved in the commission of the crime. Historically, mob leaders were able to avoid consequence because though they ordered the commission of crimes, they had others do their dirty work for them. In this exhibit, we will explore the American mob’s rise to prominence and how the RICO Act was used to take down the most prominent mob families in New York City

Objects Include:

  • Meyer Lansky’s Bowtie
  • Barstool from Little Apalachin Conference
  • John Gotti Baseball Cap
  • ________

    Alcatraz East hosts temporary exhibits, in partnership with outside organizations, related to crime and law enforcement topics.

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