A new law that will go into effect immediately will allow Illinois law enforcement officers to charge a street gang leader for crimes members of their organizations commit.
House Bill 1907 was based off of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act that treats acts committed by members of a group as part of a criminal enterprise. The goal of House Bill 1907 is to dismantle street gangs from the top down by prosecuting gang leaders for crimes they order others to carry out.
"One of the best ways to make our neighborhoods safer is to go after street gang leaders who profit from crime," Governor Quinn said. "Gang leaders cannot be allowed to escape justice by hiding behind criminals who do their bidding. This law will help law enforcement get gangs off the street and keep them off."
Gang members convicted of criminal conspiracy under this law could face over 30 years in prison as well as fines of up to $250,000 or twice the gross amount of any criminal proceeds.
Thirty-one other states have racketeering statutes.
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