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Pennsylvania Crime Commission 1989 Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
57 pages
This 1989 report of the Pennsylvania Crime Commission focuses on the State's efforts to address its drug problem, notably trafficking in crack cocaine, and organized crime.
In its assessment of the narcotics problem in Pennsylvania, the Crime Commission has determined that cocaine is far more accessible today than a year ago. Crack production and distribution is a "cottage industry" populated by young, amateur entrepreneurs and more professional organizations that are competing for a share in this lucrative market. There have been a number of notable prosecutions of organized-crime figures in the State. The conviction of Nicodemo Scarfo and his cohorts for murder and racketeering has been the fruit of a coordinated, focused law enforcement offensive. The incapacitation of this La Cosa Nostra family has proven the effectiveness of a planned, cooperative effort of prosecutors and investigators. The Crime Commission, in furtherance of its mandate to investigate and expose organized crime, held public hearings in Media, Pennsylvania. These hearings focused on traditional racketeering activities -- gambling, narcotics, and loansharking -- in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Crime Commission determined that there is a relationship between the video poker industry and narcotics and loansharking rackets. The involvement of both the Philadelphia and Gambino La Cosa Nostra families in the Chester gambling market was revealed, and the limits of the criminal sanction in divesting racketeers of their control over these activities was demonstrated. The Crime Commission has reorganized its resources and established resident agencies in the major urban centers of the State. This has resulted in a more equitable distribution of the commission's resources. This report also describes commission law enforcement education programs. Appended supplementary information and a subject index