Crime boss Itzhak Abergil heading back to jail in native Israel

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – Jailed Israeli crime boss Itzhak Abergil will be extradited from the United States to Israel to serve the remaining nine years of a 10-year sentence.

Abergil, 45, pleaded guilty in May 2012 to being part of a large-scale Ecstasy distribution ring whose members killed an accomplice in the Los Angeles area. He is incarcerated in a Southern California federal prison.

U.S. Magistrate Suzanne Segal signed papers Nov. 18 authorizing Abergil’s transfer to Israel, which is expected to take place in about three weeks.

In the original 77-page, 32-count indictment, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles charged that Abergil, his brother Meir and their associates ran one of the largest rings importing narcotics into the United States, working with two other drug syndicates, the Jerusalem Network and one in California’s San Fernando Valley.

The Abergil brothers and an associate were extradited from Israel to the United States in early 2011, an action rarely approved by Israeli courts. In this case, U.S. officials agreed that if the defendants were found guilty, they would not face the death penalty and would serve their sentences in Israeli jails.

The Los Angeles Police Department has been concerned with Israeli criminals in the city since the 1970s.

“Israeli crime here tends to be quite sophisticated and hard to track,” Capt. Greg Hall, commander of the department’s Major Crimes Division, told JTA in an earlier interview.

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