States Shared Goals for Combatting Chicago Gangs
CHICAGO, IL â€“ U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) announced he will support Loretta Lynch when her nomination to be the next Attorney General comes to the Senate floor for a vote.
â€œI am confident from my conversation with Loretta Lynch that she will be a valuable partner in confronting the gang violence that is robbing families of their children every day in Chicago. We need the help of the Attorney General to fight gangs of national significance through federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, and to address organized crime like drug and child sex trafficking,â€ Senator Kirk said.
- Senator Kirk recently met with Loretta Lynch to discuss her nomination and the ongoing efforts by state, local, and federal law enforcement to combat the violent gangs.
- Chicago is the only major city in the United States to rank in the top 5 for the four major drugs distributed by Mexican cartels, including ranking number 1 in heroin, number 2 in both cocaine and marijuana and number 5 in methamphetamine.
- According to the Chicago Tribune, there has been aÂ 40% increase of shootings in Chicago since this time last year, and aÂ 26% percent increase in homicides.
In fiscal year 2015, Senator Kirk secured $13 million to continue the fight against gangs of national significance in Chicagoland:
- $5 million for U.S. Marshals Service to continue operating itsÂ anti-gang investigative units using their Regional Fugitive Task Force network. In fiscal year 2014, Senator KirkÂ recommendedÂ and secured funding for the creation of these units. Chicago is home to the U.S. Marshals Service Great Lake Regional Task Force Headquarters.
- $5 million for Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction account (Project Safe Neighborhoods) under State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance, â€œaimed at reducing homicides and gun-related violence crime in communities overwhelmed by gangs of national significance, and illegally trafficked and purchased guns.â€
- $3 million in Gang and Youth Violence Education and Prevention in the Office of Juvenile Justice Programs.
Senator Kirk also spoke with Loretta Lynch to discuss employing RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) to criminally prosecute gang leaders:
* Criminal RICO makesÂ makes it unlawful for a person to use an enterprise to launder money generated by a pattern of racketeering activity.
*Senator Kirk wants the Department of Justice to make maximum use of the criminal RICO statutes (18 USC 1961-1968) to target the management hierarchy of the criminal gang networks that are terrorizing Illinois.
*These gangsâ€™ patterns of racketeering activities include extortion, bribery, loan sharking, murder, illegal gun and drug sales, human sex trafficking, prostitution, and numerous other crimes. Â Further, criminal RICO convictions will help the victims of the gangs â€“ such as families of murder victims, business owners who were extorted, debtors of loan sharks, victims of human and sex trafficking â€“ to civilly sue the gang members to recover the economic losses they sustained due to the gangsâ€™ pattern of racketeering.