Rico Dredd is a character from the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd. He is the brother of Judge Joseph Dredd and despite only appearing in one issue he is a major character in the world of Judge Dredd.


Rico, along with his brother Joe, were clones from the same genetic source who was Chief Judge Eustace Fargo, the man who created the Judges. They were rapidly so in 16 months they had the physical body of 5-year-old children. Their brains also were induced with knowledge and training which will allow them to train in the Academy of Law. Rico was removed from the tank 12 minutes before Joe, so he refers him as his little brother or "Little Joe".

While training at the Academy of Law Rico was shown to be more skilful than Joe and graduated at the top of the class, with Joe being second. Immediately after the Atomic Wars, he requested to join the older cadets to maintain order in the post-war chaos and both Rico and Joe served with distinction and they were chosen to take part in storming the white to take down President Booth (the man who started the Atomic Wars).

While on a training mission in the Cursed Earth, he suffered an injury and he became more aggressive, determined and brutal to show himself to be better than Joe and after graduation, Rico began to get involved in criminal activities that he's supposed to be fighting, such as extortion, assault and racketeering. Both Joe and Rico thought it was the exposure to the radiation in the Cursed Earth but Rico discounted it, he thinks that the Justice Department is corrupt and so it didn't matter if he was corrupt and the honest Judges like Joe are just as brutal as he is.

Rico started to become a criminal himself and started taking bribes from organised crime, drinking, assaulting, beating and framing (and sometimes killing) innocent civilians and perps who surrendered to him and ran blackmail operations. When Joe attempted to convince Rico to change his ways, he wouldn't listen and to the distaste of Joe.

Rico killing a perp who's unable to bribe him anymore.

He had to turn to Rico to get information about the criminal underworld. When Rico's former Assessing Judge, Judge Kenner became suspicious of his activities, Rico covertly murdered him and dumped his body in a rad pit. Rico, in the e-book The Third Law claimed to regret having to kill his former Assessing Judge, but it's implied he's an unreliable narrator since the original strip shows Rico hitting Kenner then shooting him in the limbs and mocking him as he lies there dying and he uses the rad pit to dispose of the body.

Eventually, Rico allowed his little brother Joe to learn about his racketeering and after Joe witnesses Rico murdering an innocent cafe owner who refused to pay him protection money, Joe attempted to arrest him but Rico resisted by firing at him. Due to Rico being an expert marksman, Joe thinks that Rico is trying to let him kill him out of remorse for his actions while Rico claims that he couldn't shoot his brother. He also reveals that the cafe owner was a chocolate smuggler he was shaking down and he was only meant to wound him. In any case, he was sentenced to twenty years of hard labour on Titan where he started to have an immense hatred of his brother Joe.

While on Titan, he illicitly fathered a daughter Vienna Dredd with a reporter who was interviewing him.

After serving his time on Titan, he returned to Mega-City One to get revenge on Joe for making him go to Titan. They eventually meet and Rico challenged him to a duel, knowing his aiming was superior to his brothers, but unfortunately for him, his time on Titan's weaker gravity made him slower by a split second and Joe shoot him down. Joseph Dredd proceeded to carry his lifeless body onto the street and declined a paramedic's offer of assistance, stating "He ain't heavy - he's my brother!", a reference to the Hollies song.

Dredd would still be haunted by his memory and tried to prevent his niece, Vienna from learning how her father died, but after her kidnapper revealed how Dredd was the one who killed Vienna's father, she immediately forgave him. One of Dredd's clone would also be named Rico to restore his name.

Film version

He also appears on the film version as the main antagonist, portrayed by Armand Assante.