U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Final Report: Soviet Emigre Organized Criminal Networks in the United States

NCJ Number
Date Published
123 pages
The nature, scope, and level of organization of crime among immigrants from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were studied, using a combination of field research, archival research, and survey research.
Much of the data and investigative materials were collected by the criminal justice agencies in the Tri-State Joint Project on Soviet Emigre Organized Crime. Other information was collected by means of a mail survey of more than 750 police agencies and individuals and interviews with writers and journalists; crucial community figures in two large emigre communities; police in the United States and the former Soviet Union; and residents and businesspersons in Brighton Beach, N.Y. Results revealed that individual crimes of a highly organized and complex kind are being committed by emigres from the former Soviet Union. However, no Russian organized crime as such exists in the United States; no Russian Mafia exists. The Soviet emigre criminal networks observed during the research were neither predominately Russian, nor did they possess the defining characteristics for being a mafia. Findings indicated that the popular notion of a Russian Mafia in the United States is a symbolic creation of the media and law enforcement and has little basis in fact. Reference notes and appended figures, tables, map, and methodological information

Date Published: January 1, 1998