BONN (Apr. 8)
Six Israelis, an American and a German were sentenced to prison terms of up to nine-and-a-half years at the end of a four-month drug trial here yesterday, said to have been the biggest drug trial ever held in West Germany. The accused were charged with forming a criminal ring that sold $1.2 million worth of heroin. A battery of 32 lawyers was employed by the defense.
According to testimony during the trial, the ring was formed in January 1974 by Joseph (Big Joe) Amiel. 33, a Frankfurt restaurant owner originally from Tel Aviv. His closest associate was identified as Jeshaja Feinsilber, 30, also from Tel Aviv, who was accused of buying heroin from Chinese dealers in Amsterdam. Another Israel, 28-year-old Baruch Bar-Ziv, described as an impressario, allegedly carried the drugs into West Germany by rail, car and air.
Amy Devore, 18, from New York, aided the ring, according to the testimony, by concealing the heroin in her pantyhose during customs inspection at the Dutch border. Shimon Rimon, a farmer from Israel, was accused of mixing the heroin with vinegar and powdered milk in which form it was wrapped for selling. The other defendants were accused of acting as “pushers.”
The long trial produced its share of sensations. Amiel escaped from custody before the hearings started. Another defendant, Josef Hozmi, attempted suicide while in prison, and co-defendant Josef Jakob had to be placed in an isolation ward after appearing in court under the influence of drugs he obtained from other prisoners.