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Israeli Crime Brothers Face U.S. Charges

Court approves extradition over Ecstasy ring

Douglas Century
July 28, 2009

In another indication of the increasingly ambitious and global nature of Israeli organized crime, a trend I’ve been covering in a Tablet Magazine series this week, an Israeli court ruled yesterday that the brothers Meir and Yitzhak Abergil, two of Israel’s most notorious gangsters, and a few of their associates will be extradited to the United States. There, they will face the music for allegedly running one of the world’s largest Ecstasy rings in cooperation with the Vineland Boyz, a Los Angeles-based Latino gang. (The partnership had landed the brothers on the U.S. State Department’s list of the top 40 drug importers.) Headquartered in Israel’s northern coastal city of Netanya, the Abergils were arrested last August following a sweeping FBI investigation that spanned six years and involved law enforcement from more than ten countries across North America, Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East. The feds’ indictment assesses the Abergils’ fortune in the millions, and exposes their complex international enterprise: drugs were manufactured in the family’s laboratories in Belgium and then smuggled into California by ingenious means, including stuffing them into toy tigers.

Douglas Century is the author and coauthor of numerous bestselling books including Hunting El Chapo, Takedown, Under and Alone, Brotherhood of Warriors and Barney Ross: The Life of a Jewish Fighter, a biography in the Nextbook Press Jewish Encounters book series.