Beginning with the Gambino family and ending with the Smiths down the street, a very large book could be written on this topic. There are huge differences in crime and violations between the two yet one obvious similarity. As a family, crime is their occupation.
The original Gambino family dates back to the pre-national syndicate days in the 1920s. In the 1950s Carlo Gambino took this second string organization and turned it into the mafias "Jewel in the Crown" The richest and most powerful organization with more than 800 men dutifully committing crimes. Murder, racketeering, drug imports and prostitution just to name a few.
Now to the Smith family and their ability to support themselves through drugs. Doctor hopping, drug growth, chemical mixing and sales keep this family living a rather lavish lifestyle.. This is a family where drugs is their business yet few if any are interested in doing the drugs themselves. Were there too many family members that were addicts, the profits would all but disappear.
Different members of the family go from doctor to doctor complaining of different ailments in hopes of obtaining prescriptions for narcotics. Unfortunately there are Doctors out there wanting to get their piece of the proverbial pie and prescriptions are written at an astounding rate to various members of this family to keep the profits coming. Narcotics are in demand on the streets and can be sold at an unbelievable price.
In the barn out towards the back of their property is their pot growing operation. Specific growing lights, adjusted temperature and this family has thousands of dollars growing with basically no effort on their part.
Some members spend their days gathering supplies to make Methamphetamine. With the recipe published not only on the web but in books as well, its an easy yet scary procedure. All it takes is the ingredients (which laws recently passed have helped slow this process down) and the guts with a little lack of fear. This family does what it takes to run their organization and they are not alone. People die from making Methamphetamine but the risks have to be taken in order for the family to support itself.
Selling the drugs is most likely the easy part. Sales and the use of drugs in this country is astronomical. I'm sure their business is thriving.
As mentioned in the beginning of this piece there are families involved in crimes to numerous to mention here. For the criminal mind taking what they see as the easy road is a no brainer. Why follow societies rules when our own little entity can provide just fine. Unfortunately with the birth rate what it is today, many new family members are born daily. Some of those family members will probably start their own crime for their family occupation.