The Israel Police on Tuesday launched a massive sting operation against organized criminal gangs in nine cities across the country and arrested over 100 suspects.
Authorities raided the homes of approximately 100 suspected drug dealers and burglars in Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Netanya, Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, Ashdod, Sderot, Kalansawa, and Taibeh. At least 102 suspects were arrested, according to Maariv.
Among the people taken into custody were 17 members of a burglary ring, and five of the apartments raided by police were their stash houses.
Over 800 police officers took part in the bust, code-named “Operation Double Moon,” which was the culmination of nearly a year of undercover work by at least two agents, Israel Radio reported.
Police arrested 22 residents of the Beersheba suburb of Tel Sheba and surrounding area on suspicion of dealing drugs, including hashish and heroin, Ynet reported.
The suspects reportedly sold an undercover police officer 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of hashish and 300 grams (.6 pounds) of heroin over the course of seven months.
The police were expected to bring the suspects arrested overnight before the Beersheba, Rishon Lezion and Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Courts for extension of their arrests.
Central District police chief Maj. Gen. Benzi Sau lauded the operation as a serious strike against criminals operating in central Israel.
“We began this morning with a good deed and good news for the Israeli public,” Sau said. He noted that it was the first time in Israeli police history that the force used undercover agents to break up an organized ring of thieves targeting houses.