Using data on 32 actors and ties among them drawn from available court files, we combine analytical sociology with statistical models for networks in order to analyse a case of a counterfeit alcohol distribution network from the Czech Republic. We formulate a theory of action and identify relational mechanisms which could explain how the structure of the network emerged and describe. We use the exponential random graph model to test these mechanisms. The analysis reveals that the two actors capable of manufacturing the poisonous mixture were considerably though not optimally proximate to others enabling fast distribution of the mixture. Our model results that the structure was formed by mechanisms of triadic closure, negative tendency to concentrate ties, and tie translation of pre-existing ties into operational ties. We conclude with the discussion of the implications our approach for the study of criminal networks.
- CAUSAL MECHANISMS