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Please respond to a least 2 other students. Response should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions. When addressing the topic questions, you are to state the question followed by your response. Do this for each question posed.

Responses Due Sunday, by 11:55 pm ET



Wade Dowden


I would argue that the truly sophisticated organizations are political to some extent. I would not be surprised to find that they funnel money to their candidate of choice or that they bribe or attempt to bribe officials. In Mexico, we saw many politicians killed during the drug war. Again, I would compare them to a legitimate business. Companies hire lobbyist to try and get the law to go their way, why wouldn’t a criminal? 

If the political winds blow your way, you will do well in business, legit or otherwise. Criminals may not care about taxes but they would care about stricter laws, or more police. Think about how much the Mafia would love to get rid of RICO laws. The point is, being political is a smart move, regardless of how you make your money. It can also be used as a way of getting out of the crime business. If a corrupt local official gives a lucrative contract to a business that is fronted with illegal money, then whoever owns it can eventually just focus on that. This aspect really sickens me though because in that case, crime really did pay. I always find a little comfort that no matter how rich, most eventually get killed or imprisoned. Even Escobar was hunted down and shot. 

Crime and politics go hand and hand because crime is a business in every sense of the word. 




Ephrain Lopez Roman

1) What is smuggling? What is smuggled and why is it smuggled? Who benefits from smuggling and who is hurt by smuggling and how? Besides smuggling, what other border violations threaten the facilitation of legitimate trade?

Many things are smuggled into the United States. Of course the most well known things are people, money and drugs. “The United States confronts a wide array of threats at U.S. borders, ranging from terrorists who may have weapons of mass destruction, to transnational criminals smuggling drugs or counterfeit goods, to unauthorized migrants intending to live and work in the United States” (Rosenblum, et al, 2013). 

The people that benefit the most from smuggling are the smugglers themselves and the people who arranged for the items to be smuggled. Except in human smuggling. Coyotes often charge several hundred to thousands of dollars to smuggle people across the border. Many of these people are coming for work or to get away from violent homelands, but they are not really benefiting as much as the coyotes. Also, some of the people being smuggled over the borders are being trafficked for sex work or domestic work. “Labor trafficking situations may arise in domestic servitude, restaurant work, janitorial work, sweatshop factory work, migrant agricultural work, construction, and peddling (8 U.S.C. § 1101)” (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2009). 

The people that are being exploited by the coyotes and people that are smuggled in for sex and labor trafficking are the most affected by smuggling. Then of course are the people that use the drugs that are smuggled in and their families. Some people, including our President argue that illegal immigrants are stealing American jobs, but that is not really true. Taxpayers do have to pay for medical care and schooling for illegal immigrants, so some people believe that hurts U.S. States. 

What is the globalization of organized crime and how serious is the threat?

“Organized crime has diversified, gone global and reached macro-economic proportions: illicit goods are sourced from one continent, trafficked across another, and marketed in a third. Mafias are today truly a transnational problem: a threat to security, especially in poor and conflict-ridden countries” (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010). 

Globalization of organized crime is a serious threat because this is also how terrorist fund their attacks. It also weakens the governments and local authorities. Gangs takes take over weak cities and they become a hotbed for crime and terrorism. 


Rosenblum, Marc R. (2012). Border security: Understanding threats at U.S. borders. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2010). The globalization of crime: A transnational organized crime threat assessment. Geneva: UNODC.

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