RICO Case Puts Four Notable Members Of WPB Gang Behind Bars
Four men have pleaded guilty to RICO charges in relation to the Robles Park enterprise. They are accused of gun crimes, drug trafficking, financial crimes, and being a large criminal enterprise. Two of the men have pleaded guilty to committing violent crimes in furtherance of a criminal enterprise. They both face potential life sentences under federal law. Another man is facing a five-year maximum sentence while another is facing a potential 20-year sentence.
RICO prosecutions are aimed at prosecuting criminal enterprises, not individuals. It allows federal prosecutors to make allegations against the enterprise, determine the roles of each individual in the enterprise, and charge them with crimes committed for the enterprise’s benefit. In this case, the Robles Park enterprise was a sprawling criminal conspiracy of drug trafficking and identity theft.
What is RICO?
RICO is perhaps the most famous piece of legislation ever drafted and it has its own documentary to boot. Its purpose was to crack down on mafia crime families, but today, it is used more broadly. In fact, some top executives for pharmaceutical companies have been charged under RICO for oversupplying small towns with massive amounts of opioids in furtherance of the opioid epidemic. These pills were later found on the streets.
Gangs and other criminal organizations are most likely to face RICO charges, but RICO is not limited to gangs. The government need only prove that there is a criminal conspiracy to conduct multiple unlawful acts for personal profit and that you are a member of that conspiracy.
Two prove that an individual is guilty under RICO, prosecutors must establish a pattern of unlawful acts. This generally means two or more unlawful acts performed in a 10-year period for the benefit of the criminal enterprise. The maximum penalty for a RICO prosecution is 20 years. In cases where the individual is charged with a life-sentence penalty, a RICO charge can result in a life sentence. Homicide and drug trafficking are two examples of crimes that could result in a life sentence for a RICO defendant.
How do I end up a RICO defendant?
In order to be considered a RICO defendant, you must perform activities in furtherance of a criminal enterprise. While two in ten years is the minimum, the prosecution must establish that you were aware of the conspiracy and performed the tasks with the knowledge of what you were doing. In other words, you cannot accidentally commit a RICO offense. The prosecution must prove your intent, that you received payment for the service, or that you benefited from the enterprise. In other words, you can’t be a “contractor”, you have to be an “employee” of the enterprise. Corporations are increasingly becoming the target of RICO prosecutions.
Talk to a West Palm Beach RICO Attorney Today
The Matassini Law Firm represents the interests of those charged under federal statutes such as RICO. Call our Tampa criminal lawyers today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your defense strategy immediately.