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La Cosa Nostra in Drug Trafficking (From Organized Crime in America, P 31-41, 1987, Timothy S Bynum, ed. - See NCJ-104665)

NCJ Number
P A Lupsha
Date Published
11 pages
Italian-American crime groups have been extensively and continuously involved in drug trafficking in the United States, despite their stated unwillingness to engage in it.
La Cosa Nostra (LCN) has often claimed its moral rectitude and honor in relation to drug trafficking, but these statements represent moral posturing and efforts to maintain false self-images. Lucky Luciano in the 1920's and Meyer Lansky and the Bonanna and Genovese families in later years were all involved in narcotics trafficking. LCN's national commission issued an edict against drug trafficking in 1948. This ban apparently had some impact from 1948 to 1959. However, it was increasingly ignored as a result of the huge profits of the narcotics trade, LCN's loss of power to rival criminal organizations that filled the void created by the edict, and internal and generational changes that took place in LCN itself. By the late 1970's, LCN had reestablished its Sicilian drug trafficking connection and was trying to extend its influence in drug trafficking to South America. LCN has also expanded beyond the traditional heroin market into all forms of drugs. Its involvement and changing strategies related to drug trafficking are likely to continue as long as consumer demand and vast profit opportunities also continue. 42 references.