Two residents of northern Israel were indicted on Thursday in the Nazareth District Court on charges of smuggling drugs into Israel from a Hezbollah operative.
Iyad Mazarib, 42, and Riad Mazarib, 36, both from the village of Zarzir, have allegedly been working for the past year with Abed al-Bassat Zoabi, a drug dealer in Nazareth.
Zoabi was arrested in July in connection with the smuggling of 21 kilograms of explosives into Israel from Hezbollah connections in Lebanon. In that incident, the Shin Bet suspected that Zoabi only discovered — after he received the package — that it contained explosives and not drugs.
Both suspects have been involved in the past with drug smuggling: In 2007, Riad was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for dealing in drugs with a Hezbollah agent during the Second Lebanon War. At that time, Riad was serving in the IDF as a tracker. He was convicted of drug smuggling; a plea bargain removed additional charges of conspiracy and aiding a foreign agent.
Both defendants were charged with the importing of, and trafficking in, dangerous drugs; possession with the intent to sell; destruction of evidence and obstruction of justice.