The Associated Press reports that, for the first time ever, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act is being used to prosecute a human trafficking case. Notre Dame Professor of Law G. Robert Blakey helped write the RICO Act.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
In a 45-count indictment handed down in May, the U.S. attorney’s office accuses eight Uzbekistan nationals and four others in the largest human trafficking case ever prosecuted in the city. Authorities say it is the first time a human trafficking ring has been charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the federal statute most often associated with mafia cases.
G. Robert Blakey, a professor at Notre Dame Law School who helped write the RICO statute in 1970, said the law allows prosecutors to try criminal operations as a whole, rather than individually. RICO requires prosecutors to present evidence against everyone involved in a racketeering ring, instead of being limited to evidence against only that person, he said.
Blakey said RICO was amended in 1995 to include provisions dealing specifically with modern slavery, but he’s not surprised it took 14 years for someone to use the law in a human trafficking case.
For the complete AP story, go to: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jBKuPQhucx240w3XgRutfWjBB1KgD9A46C4G2
For more on Prof. Blakey, visit: http://law.nd.edu/people/faculty-and-administration/teaching-and-research-faculty/g-robert-blakey