Publication:
FROM MAFIA TO VIOLENT EXTREMIST: EXAMINING THE APPLICATION OF THE RICO ACT TO ANTIFA

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Authors
Soto, Marco A., Sr.
Subjects
RICO Act Antifa
domestic terrorism
Advisors
Matei, Cristiana
Peters, Lynda A.
Date of Issue
2023-03
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Factions within Antifa were responsible for criminal activity during the social injustice protests of 2020 in the United States, leading to some arrests. Despite the economic destruction caused nationally during the protests and Antifa’s continual involvement in criminal acts, not much has been done to hold the group accountable. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act offers one potential option to address Antifa. This thesis explores how the RICO statute has been applied to criminal enterprises similar to Antifa and how it might be applied to prosecute Antifa. This thesis uses a combination of two qualitative research methods: legal analysis and case studies. The legal analysis focuses on the RICO Act’s application to non-economic enterprises and the related First Amendment issues involved when the act is applied to protest groups. The case studies focus on the successful application of the RICO Act to other types of criminal enterprises such as criminal street gangs, white supremacist groups, and other non-traditional criminal enterprises. This thesis finds that the RICO Act’s use for non-traditional criminal enterprises has withstood legal challenges, making it a viable option for combating Antifa.
Type
Thesis
Description
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Department
National Security Affairs (CHDS)
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Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
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Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
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