//Ze'ev Rosenstein, the Biggest Drug Trafficker of our Times

Ze'ev Rosenstein, the Biggest Drug Trafficker of our Times

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.