Convicted crime lord Yitzhak Abergil landed in Israel Thursday after three years in a US prison, and will spend the remainder of his sentence, approximately three years, in an Israeli prison.
Abergil was escorted off the plane by police and Prisons Service officials and taken to Ayalon Prison in Ramle, in central Israel.
Abergil and his brother Meir were arrested in August 2008 in Israel following an American extradition request, after they were named in an indictment that charged them with using a San Fernando Valley gang to distribute one million MDMA pills, colloquially known as ecstasy, and paying a gang member to kill a man for stealing a drug shipment. Abergil was handed over to US officials in January 2011.
In May 2012 Abergil pleaded guilty to the charges as part of a plea agreement, and was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison, of which he has already served over five (including time spent in prison prior to sentencing). His brother Meir was sentenced to 42 months and has since been released.
Police said they feared the return of Abergil, whose organization has remained active throughout his incarceration, could spark renewed power struggles and street wars between crime organizations.
Abergil is believed to have been one of the largest importers of narcotics into the United States. US prosecutors said his family worked with another drug syndicate, the Jerusalem Network, as well as a Los Angeles gang to traffic MDMA.
The 2012 indictment stated that the Abergil and Jerusalem organizations had previously been involved in the largest bank embezzlement scheme in Israel’s history and engaged in illegal activities in the US to launder the proceeds of the scheme.