- Syndicated Gambling: Sections 801-811 of the
Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, which amended Title 18, United States
Code, by adding Sections 1511 and 1955, are designed to combat "illegal
gambling business" or syndicated gambling. Title 18, U.S.C. § 1511 is
directed at the political and police corruption which makes widespread
illegal gambling possible, while Title 18, U.S.C. § 1955 is directed
the illegal gambling itself.
- Basis for Federal Jurisdiction: Congress enacted this
legislation pursuant to its power to regulate interstate commerce. In so
doing, Congress made the finding that illegal gambling does involve
widespread use of and does have an effect upon interstate commerce. Hence,
the Federal Government has jurisdiction to initiate investigations and
prosecutions of persons conducting large scale illegal gambling businesses
without showing that the proscribed activity has affected interstate
commerce. Perez v. United States, 402 U.S. 146 (1971); United
States v. Sacco, 491 F.2d 995 (9th Cir. 1974); United States v.
Harris, 460 F.2d 1041, 1048 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 409 U.S.
877 (1972); Schneider v. United States, 459 F.2d 540 (8th Cir.),
cert. denied, 409 U.S. 877 (1972).
- Scope of Federal Jurisdiction: Congress did not intend
to occupy the field of illegal gambling exclusively nor to relieve local law
enforcement bodies of their obligations to enforce local gambling
provisions. The syndicated gambling laws are directed only at those
individuals who operate gambling businesses of major proportions: selection
of targets for investigation and prosecution should be made on that basis.
See United States v. Hawes, 529 F.2d 472 (5th Cir. 1976);
United States v. Riehl, 460 F.2d 454, 458 (3d Cir.1972).
- Investigative and Supervisory Jurisdiction:
Investigative jurisdiction for violations of the syndicated gambling
provisions is vested in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In
investigating, the FBI is authorized under 18 U.S.C. § 2516 to
wire or oral communications pursuant to court order. See USAM 9-7.000 (Electronic Surveillance). The
FBI will normally recommend approval for electronic surveillance based
solely on gambling violations if the matter under investigation involves
organized crime, the corruption of public officials, or the gambling
business is substantial and considered extraordinary for the region. The
services of the FBI laboratory are available both to analyze any physical
evidence seized and to support expert testimony at the time of trial.
Supervision of prosecutions under these statutes, including
investigations and service of warrants, is vested in the Organized Crime and
[cited in USAM 9-110.600]