The crime that pays: drug trafficking and organized crime in Canada
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While research on organized crime has for decades relied primarily on law enforcement data, an increasing number of interview-based studies have been conducted in recent years. Among these studies, prison interviews appeared to be a method of second choice given the questionable representativeness of incarcerated offenders for the entire population of ‘organized criminals’, and the limitations the prison environment imposes on the communication between interviewer and interviewee. Despite the difficulties in identifying and accessing active offenders, researchers could expect to obtain a less distorted picture and one more valid for the successful criminals from field interviews. Frederick Desroches’ impressive study of higher-level drug trafficking in Canada demonstrates that this view is not necessarily accurate.
Desroches based his research on interviews with 70 convicted drug traffickers, supplemented by interviews with investigators and the analysis of investigative files. The 70...