RICO Investigation Takes Down More Than 30 Florida Residents
Central Florida authorities have announced the arrests of more than 30 people who are involved in various racketeering or drug enterprises. One of them includes the Orlando rapper, Jacquavius “9lokkNine” Smith, who is reputed to be a leader of the Army gang. Smith, who is 21, is being held on $750,000 bail. While documents related to the arrest remain sealed, authorities say that they can link 9lokkNine to drug trafficking and other violations.
9lokkNine is not the only rapper facing charges. Another rapper, Javarri “Hotboii” Walker, believed to be the leader of a rival gang has yet to be arrested but has charges pending related to racketeering and drug trafficking.
These two feuding rappers with their gangs are believed to be responsible for a growing body count and multiple instances of gun violence.
Authorities stress that these arrests are not just LARPing gangsters, but actual bad people who commit criminal offenses and won’t think twice about doing the things they say they do in their lyrics. While it has long been held that most rappers do not engage in actual gangland street wars, they only rap about them, an uptick in actual armed violence over “rap wars” has no end in sight.
In this case, a search of 9lokkNine’s home revealed several mechanisms capable of turning handguns and single-shot rifles into automatic weapons. These devices are, of course, illegal. But modifying your own guns is actually easier in the U.S. than actually purchasing fully automatic weapons, which federal law prohibits under most circumstances.
RICO prosecutions are largely credited with the downfall of the original Mafia in the Northeast. Prior to RICO investigations, taking a fall on a five- or ten-year prison stint was the norm and largely not a big deal. However, under the new stiffer RICO law, criminal sentences could be as long as 30 years. Omerta, the sacred vow of silence not to “rat” on your bosses, was destroyed when defendants suddenly faced the increased penalties of 30 years to life in prison.
Under RICO, prosecutors were no longer required to prove an individual committed a specific act within a criminal organization. All individuals within the organization could be charged with criminal conduct attributed to the organization. Hence, it has become much easier to get longer sentences for organized crime.
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