FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2007
Israeli Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty
Karen P. Tandy, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, DEA Miami Field Division and R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced that Ze’ev Rosenstein pled guilty to conspiracy to import MDMA ("Ecstasy") and conspiracy to distribute MDMA. Immediately following the guilty plea, Rosenstein was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. Rosenstein had previously been named in the U.S. Justice Department’s Consolidated Priority Organization Target list.
The charges against Rosenstein stem from the seizure of more than 700,000 MDMA tablets from a Manhattan, New York apartment. The underlying investigation was developed by federal and state authorities in Miami when a jointly controlled DEA and Miami-Dade Police Department informant was approached by a Rosenstein associate who offered to sell the informant MDMA on consignment from a load hidden in New York. Miami-Dade Police Department detectives then passed the informant's information to detectives in New York, who followed a courier to an apartment in Manhattan. New York authorities obtained a search warrant, and seized more than 700,000 MDMA tablets and $187,000 USD. Law enforcement officials later determined that Rosenstein was one of the individuals responsible for financing the shipment of the MDMA to the United States, and that Rosenstein was an integral part of the conspiracy and was involved in many of the decisions regarding the sale of the MDMA. In addition to this seizure, the indictment against Rosenstein covered a two year period during which Rosenstein played a key role in a sophisticated international drug trafficking network. On March 7, 2006, Rosenstein was extradited from Israel to the United States to face trial.
“Americans and Israelis -- and citizens of every other country Ze'ev Rosenstein sent his poisonous pills to -- are rejoicing today with this kingpin's conviction,” said DEA Administrator Karen P. Tandy. “Today's guilty plea by the most infamous criminal in Israel is also a resounding victory for our children, who are specifically targeted by traffickers of Ecstasy. This is a drug that is produced, packaged, and marketed to our young people, and it is a drug that science now tells us can cause serious physical damage with even a single use.”
U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta stated, “Today’s guilty plea and sentencing mark the demise of a major international drug trafficking organization whose operations spanned four continents and involved the shipment of well over one million Ecstasy pills to the United States. The conviction of Rosenstein is the final chapter in an unprecedented joint effort between the United States and Israel. Today’s investigation and prosecution is an example of the results that can be achieved when law enforcement efforts cross international boundaries to combat multinational drug trafficking organizations.” Mr. Acosta noted that this case would not have been possible without the extraordinary joint efforts of the United States and Israeli authorities, including the Israel Ministry of Justice and the Israel National Police (INP). In particular, Mr. Acosta thanked the Tel Aviv Central Unit of the INP and the Tel-Aviv District Prosecutor’s Office for their tireless efforts in this case. Mr. Acosta also expressed his thanks to the INP office at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. In addition, Mr. Acosta commended the efforts the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section in Washington ; the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York; the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs; the DEA’s Special Operations Division, Foreign Operations Division, and DEA-Nicosia; the Miami-Dade Police Department Narcotics Squad; the Glades County Sheriff’s Office; the Hialeah Police Department, and the New York Police Department Queens Narcotics Major Case Squad.