Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 185–200

“Legitimate Strengths in Criminal Networks”

  • Carlo Morselli
  • Cynthia Giguere

DOI: 10.1007/s10611-006-9034-4

Cite this article as:
Morselli, C. & Giguere, C. Crime Law Soc Change (2006) 45: 185. doi:10.1007/s10611-006-9034-4


Extending from the organizing crime perspective, we study how legitimate world actors contribute to structuring a criminal network. This focus also underscores the facilitating role that some participants have in criminal settings. Based on a case study of an illegal drug importation network that was monitored by law-enforcement investigators over a two-year period, we find that although most legitimate actors (or non-traffickers) had nominal roles and contributed minimally to the criminal network's structure, a minority of these actors were critical to the network in two ways: (1) they were active in bringing other participants (including traffickers) into the network; and (2) they were influential directors of relationships with both non-traffickers and traffickers. The presence of such influential participants from legitimate occupational settings illustrates how upperworld figures can facilitate criminal enterprise beyond the mere contributions of legitimate status and expertise.

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Morselli
    • 1
  • Cynthia Giguere
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Criminology/Internaltional Center for Comparative CriminologyUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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