Thanks to countless pop culture references and notorious 20th-century organized crime figures such as Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel and John Gotti, the concept of organized crime calls to mind images of bygone eras when speakeasies, Mob-run casinos and infamous Mafia families thrived. In fact, organized crime proliferates around the globe today.
No longer centered in neighborhoods, cities or regions, contemporary crime networks extend across national borders and their illegal activities make the news daily. From trafficking in exotic species to engaging in cyber-scams, crime syndicates routinely cross both physical and digital borders to execute their elaborate schemes. Using a 17-foot-wide interactive touch wall, discover where organized crime operates today and how law enforcement is fighting back.
Mexico has suffered from a decade of brutal violence. Most of it stems from drug cartels fighting security forces and each other over billion-dollar trafficking routes to smuggle cocaine, heroin, marijuana and crystal meth into the United States. Courtesy of Fernando Brito.
International organized crime groups are active in political hacking, data breaches and the use of virtual currency for money laundering.
James “Whitey” Bulger was a crime boss in Boston who went into hiding in Santa Monica, California, until his capture in 2011. These are a pair of glasses he left behind in his apartment.
Organized Crime Today Exhibit explores the global outreach and law enforcement strategy fighting organized crime.
This skull of the endangered baboon was being illegally traded when it was confiscated by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
These rings, part of the Museum's collection, were worn by Jay Dobyns when he was a member of the Solo Angeles motorcycle club based in Tijuana, a support club for Hells Angels. Dobyns spent more than 25 years in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.
This wall-size touchscreen allows guests to explore global organized crime, including cybercrime, drug cartels, human trafficking and more.
In 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission named Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman “Public Enemy Number One,” a designation bestowed on Al Capone in 1930.
A May 2015 indictment charged 14 top-ranking soccer officials and sports marketing executives with taking more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks over a quarter-century.
Made of ivory, hippo tusks are traded both legally and illegally, mostly to Asia to be carved as artwork.