Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 185–200 | Cite as

“Legitimate Strengths in Criminal Networks”

  • Carlo Morselli
  • Cynthia Giguere


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.


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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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