Excerpts from "gather.com."
"While most major US drug dealers get prison terms of at least 15 years to life for selling a few kilos of coke or a few hundred pills of the Class A illegal drug Ecstasy (MDMA), the world's ecstasy king-pin, Israel-based Russian mobster Ze'ev Rosenstein, has apparently just learned to skate.
Rosenstein is reportedly one of the "godfathers" in Israel's burgeoning criminal underworld — one of "the worst of the worst" among global drug dealers, according to a former US attorney.
Long sought by Israeli police and the US DEA, Rosenstein was finally arrested in Tel Aviv in November 2004. At the time, the arrest was hailed as a major victory over transnational crime by former US Attorney General John Ashcroft:
"The arrest of Ze'ev Rosenstein is the result of extraordinary close and creative cooperation between U.S. and Israeli law enforcement. It is a significant step forward in our common struggle against trans-border organized crime and international narcotics trafficking that will make both of our countries safer."
After two years in a maximum security cell, in March 2006 Rosenstein was finally extradited to Miami, charged with having organized an international drug gang that reportedly exported millions of tabs of MDMA from Netherlands-based labs to the US — including the 800,000 pills that were seized in a New York apartment in July 2001.
Rosenstein, who was also accused of importing Colombian hit men to conduct a hit on a rival crime family, faced up to life in imprison. In 2004, one of his top lieutenants, Shem Tov Michtavi, had received a 20-year sentence for lesser misconduct — although in November 2005, the US Court of Appeals for the 11th circuit reduced his sentence to a maximum of 16 years. Still, with Rosenstein finally in US hands, many thought that he'd probably spend the rest of his days in a Miami prison cell, not far from Panama's former dictator Manual Noriega, who has been 35 years for drug trafficking.