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Soviet Emigre Organized Crime Networks in the United States, 1992-1995

Version
v1
Resource Type
Dataset : Part 1: survey data, Parts 2-14: event/transaction data
Creator
  • Finckenauer, James O. (Rutgers State University, School of Criminal Justice)
  • Waring, Elin (Rutgers State University, School of Criminal Justice)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2001-03-26
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Language
English
Free Keywords
career criminals; emigrants; ethnicity; law enforcement agencies; organized crime; violence
Description
  • Abstract

    The goal of this study was to assess the nature and scope of Soviet emigre crime in the United States, with a special focus on the question of whether and how well this crime was organized. The research project was designed to overcome the lack of reliable and valid knowledge on Soviet emigre crime networks through the systematic collection, evaluation, and analysis of information. In Part 1, the researchers conducted a national survey of 750 law enforcement specialists and prosecutors to get a general overview of Soviet emigre crime in the United States. For Parts 2-14, the researchers wanted to look particularly at the character, operations, and structure, as well as the criminal ventures and enterprises, of Soviet emigre crime networks in the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania region. They were also interested in any international criminal connections to these networks, especially with the former Soviet Union. The investigators focused particularly on identifying whether these particular networks met the following criteria commonly used to define organized crime: (1) some degree of hierarchical structure within the network, (2) continuity of that structure over time, (3) use of corruption and violence to facilitate and protect criminal activities, (4) internal discipline within the network structure, (5) involvement in multiple criminal enterprises that are carried out with a degree of criminal sophistication, (6) involvement in legitimate businesses, and (7) bonding among participants based upon shared ethnicity. Data for Parts 2-14 were collected from a collaborative effort with the Tri-State Joint Project on Soviet Emigre Organized Crime. From 1992 through 1995 every investigative report or other document produced by the project was entered into a computer file that became the database for the network analysis. Documents included undercover observation and surveillance reports, informant interviews, newspaper articles, telephone records, intelligence files from other law enforcement agencies, indictments, and various materials from the former Soviet Union. Every individual, organization, and other entity mentioned in a document was considered an actor, given a code number, and entered into the database. The investigators then used network analysis to measure ties among individuals and organizations and to examine the structure of the relationships among the entries in the database. In Part 1, National Survey of Law Enforcement and Prosecutors Data, law enforcement officials and prosecutors were asked if their agency had any contact with criminals from the former Soviet Union, the types of criminal activity these people were involved in, whether they thought these suspects were part of a criminal organization, whether this type of crime was a problem for the agency, whether the agency had any contact with governmental agencies in the former Soviet Union, and whether anyone on the staff spoke Russian. Part 2, Actor Identification Data, contains the network identification of each actor coded from the documents in Part 3 and identified in the network data in Parts 4-14. An actor could be an individual, organization, concept, or location. Information in Part 2 includes the unique actor identification number, the type of actor, and whether the actor was a "big player." Part 3, Sources of Data, contains data on the documents that were the sources of the network data in Parts 4-14. Variables include the title and date of document, the type of document, and whether the following dimensions of organized crime were mentioned: sources of capital, locational decisions, advertising, price setting, financial arrangements, recruitment, internal structure, corruption, or overlapping partnerships. Parts 4-14 contain the coding of the ties among actors in particular types of documents, and are named for them: indictments, tips, investigative reports, incident reports, search reports, interview reports, arrest reports, intelligence reports, criminal acts reports, confidential informant reports, newspaper reports, social surveillance reports, other surveillance reports, and company reports.
  • Abstract

    Questions and concerns about whether there is Soviet emigre organized crime in the United States have been prevalent since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Reliable and valid knowledge to answer these questions has, however, been severely limited. This research project was designed to overcome this limitation through the systematic collection, evaluation, and analysis of information on Soviet emigre crime in the United States. The goal of the study was to assess the nature and scope of Soviet emigre crime, with a special focus on the question of whether and how well this crime was organized. In Part 1, the researchers conducted a national survey of law enforcement specialists and prosecutors to get a general overview of Soviet emigre crime in the United States. For Parts 2-14, the researchers wanted to look particularly at the character, operations, and structure, as well as the criminal ventures and enterprises, of Soviet emigre crime networks in the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania region. They were also interested in any international criminal connections to these networks, especially with the former Soviet Union. The investigators focused particularly on identifying whether these particular networks met the following criteria commonly used to define organized crime: (1) some degree of hierarchical structure within the network, (2) continuity of that structure over time, (3) use of corruption and violence to facilitate and protect criminal activities, (4) internal discipline within the network structure, (5) involvement in multiple criminal enterprises that are carried out with a degree of criminal sophistication, (6) involvement in legitimate businesses, and (7) bonding among participants based upon shared ethnicity.
  • Abstract

    To get a general idea of how familiar United States law enforcement agents and prosecutors were with Soviet emigre crime, the researchers administered a mail-back survey to over 750 law enforcement officials and prosecutors in the United States for Part 1. Data for Parts 2-14 were collected from a collaborative effort with the Tri-State Joint Project on Soviet Emigre Organized Crime. This project was created in 1992 to mount a joint intelligence, investigative, and prosecutorial effort against this particular type of organized crime. In exchange for access to the investigative materials collected by the project, the principal investigators developed and managed a computerized database and assumed responsibility for preparing reports for the project. From 1992 through 1995 every investigative report or other document produced by the project was entered into a computer file that became the database for the network analysis. Documents included undercover observation and surveillance reports, informant interviews, newspaper articles, telephone records, intelligence files from other law enforcement agencies, indictments, and various materials from the former Soviet Union. Every individual, organization, and other entity mentioned in a document was given a code number and entered into the database. The investigators then used network analysis to measure ties among individuals and organizations and to examine the structure of the relationships among the entries in the database.
  • Abstract

    In Part 1, National Survey of Law Enforcement and Prosecutors Data, law enforcement officials and prosecutors were asked if their agency had any contact with criminals from the former Soviet Union, the types of criminal activity these people were involved in, whether they thought these suspects were part of a criminal organization, whether this type of crime was a problem for the agency, whether the agency had any contact with governmental agencies in the former Soviet Union, and whether anyone on the staff spoke Russian. Part 2, Actor Identification Data, contains the network identification of each actor coded from the documents in Part 3 and identified in the network data in Parts 4-14. An actor could be an individual, organization, concept, or location. Information in Part 2 includes the unique actor identification number, the type of actor, and whether the actor was a "big player." Part 3, Sources of Data, contains data on the documents that were the sources of the network data in Parts 4-14. Variables include the title and date of document, the type of document, and whether the following dimensions of organized crime were mentioned: sources of capital, locational decisions, advertising, price setting, financial arrangements, recruitment, internal structure, corruption, or overlapping partnerships. Parts 4-14 contain the coding of the ties among actors in particular types of documents, and are named for them: indictments, tips, investigative reports, incident reports, search reports, interview reports, arrest reports, intelligence reports, criminal acts reports, confidential informant reports, newspaper reports, social surveillance reports, other surveillance reports, and company reports.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Standardized missing values.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: None.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: Part 1: The individual response rate was 64.5 percent and the agency response rate was 77.8 percent.
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: National Survey of Law Enforcement and Prosecutors Data
    • DS2: Actor Identification Data
    • DS3: Sources of Data
    • DS4: Indictments Data
    • DS5: Tips Data
    • DS6: Reports Data
    • DS7: Criminal Acts Data
    • DS8: Confidential Informants Data
    • DS9: Newspaper Data
    • DS10: Social Surveillance Data
    • DS11: Other Surveillance Data
    • DS12: Company Reports Data
    • DS13: Phone Calls Data
    • DS14: Phone Books Data
Geographic Coverage
  • New Jersey
  • New York (state)
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Part 1: Law enforcement agencies and prosecutor's offices in the United States. Parts 2-14: Actors, defined as individuals, organizations, or other entities, mentioned in documentation for the Tri-State Joint Project on Soviet Emigre Organized Crime.
Sampling
Part 1: Convenience sampling.
Collection Mode
  • The user guide and the codebook and data collection instruments are provided by ICPSR as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

Note
2006-03-30 File UG2594.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.2006-03-30 File CB2594.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (93-IJ-CX-0019).
Availability
Download
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 2594 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Publications
  • Finckenauer, James O., Waring, Elin. Soviet Emigre Organized Criminal Networks in the United States, Final Report. NCJ 173060, Newark, NJ: Rutgers University [producer], National Institute of Justice [distributor]. 1998.
  • Finckenauer, James O., Waring, Elin J.. Russian Mafia in America: Immigration, Culture, and Crime. Boston, MA: Northeastern University Press. 1998.
  • Finckenauer, James O., Waring, Elin J.. Russian Emigre Crime in the United States: Organized Crime or Crime That Is Organized. Transnational Organized Crime.2, (2/3), 139-153.1996.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Finckenauer, James O.; Waring, Elin (2001): Soviet Emigre Organized Crime Networks in the United States, 1992-1995. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02594.v1