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Sunday, September 30, 2012

The $40M, Pre 9-11 Israeli Ecstasy Raid

In July of 2001, two Israelis, Israel Ashkenazi and David Roash, were found in possession of $40M in Ecstasy pills.  Both Ashkenazi and Roash were later found to have connections with Ze'ev Rosenstein, "Godfather" of the Israeli mob. It was the largest Ectasy bust in NY history. 

The reason for the bust is made clear in the article Criminal Justice - The Israeli Connection, by Carl Jones - two Israeli gangs were attempting to wipe out each other.  As a result, the Israeli National Police were contacted by Mordechai “Flaco” Cohen, son of Columbian drug lord Elias Cohen.  In exchange for testimony, some Israeli drug families will receive US citizenship and new identities.

NYPD Raid Nets 40m In Ecstasy

Narcotic cops raiding a swank lower Manhattan apartment found $40 million worth of Ecstasy - believed to the largest seizure of the drug ever in the city, authorities said yesterday.

During the Tuesday night raid, cops netted 1 million pills - and arrested David Roash, 25, and Israel Ashkenazi, 27, two Israeli nationals who recently rented an apartment overlooking Battery Park, Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said.

Roash and Ashkenazi, both of Tel Aviv, were described as the kingpins of a distribution ring that supplied Ecstasy to sellers around the metropolitan area.

Their brand was allegedly sold under names such as Mercedes, Mitsubishi and Superman, and was produced in Europe, possibly Amsterdam, a law enforcement source said.

Huge Ecstasy Bust

(AP)  Police raided an apartment and found 450 pounds of Ecstasy pills worth $40 million, the largest seizure of the popular club drug in the city's history, officials said.Police seized more than one million pills and found $187,000 in cash in the Tuesday night raid.

They were led to the apartment by a drug investigation that focused on two men identified as Israelis - David Roash, 28, and Israel Ashkenazi, 25. One of the men was staying at the apartment.

Roash and Ashkenazi were suppliers who gave dealers about 100,000 pills to sell at a time, Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said Wednesday. Ecstasy pills are sold for $20 to $40 per pill.

The two suspects were arrested and charged with a variety of drug offenses, and could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Israeli 'godfather' caught in ecstasy dragnet  

November 9th, 2004  The reputed "godfather" of the Israeli mob was arrested in Tel Aviv today on a criminal complaint from Miami accusing him of trafficking in the illegal club drug ecstasy, federal authorities said.

Ze'ev Rosenstein, 51, who surrounds himself with bodyguards and travels in an armored limousine, was taken into custody as he left a hotel in Tel Aviv.

His arrest was touted at news conferences in Israel and the United States, where law enforcement officials said they had caught one of the most wanted drug traffickers in the world.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration says Rosenstein is a dominant force in the international ecstasy market. The US Department of Justice considers him a priority organised crime target.

Rosenstein is accused of masterminding the sale of 700,000 ecstasy tablets in 2001. The ecstasy, along with $US 187,000 in cash, was seized during a raid that July at an apartment building in Manhattan.

Rosenstein's lawyer said the charges surprised him. "I am hopeful it will be disproved," Benny Nahiri told the Associated Press in Israel.

Extraditing Rosenstein from Israel could take several months, US Attorney Marcos Daniel Jimenez said.

The three-year investigation received a boost from unprecedented cooperation between law enforcement agencies in Israel and the United States, officials from both countries said.

It was stepped up after a December bombing intended for Rosenstein killed three passersby and injured 18 in Tel Aviv's business district.

Rosenstein, who has survived seven previous attempts on his life involving bullets, bombs and a shoulder-launched missile, escaped with minor cuts.

Brigaider-General Simon Perry of the Israel National Police described Rosenstein as one of the most infamous men in his country.

"He's a major criminal in Israel," Perry, who works out of Israel's embassy in Washington, said at the news conference in Miami. "Every Israeli knows Rosenstein is at the top of the list."

In Israel, Rosenstein reportedly rubbed elbows with a-listers from the worlds of politics, sports and the party circuit, becoming a celebrity in his own right. His son's lavish wedding was highly publicized and attended by Israel's glitterati.

After the bombing, Moshe Misrahi, the brother of one of the victims, complained bitterly to the Jerusalem Post: "They've turned him into a hero.

"When I see how they take his picture and write about him all over the place, and even show his son's wedding on television, I feel like this country has gone to the dogs."

The bombing compelled Israeli police, who often refer to Rosenstein as "Public Enemy No 1," to announce a crackdown on gangland crime.

Since the late 1990s, Israeli-led crime groups have controlled ecstasy trafficking from Western Europe to the United States.

In 2001, the Israel National Police began sharing leads and other information with the DEA and law enforcement agencies across Europe.

US Attorney General John Ashcroft called the cooperation that led to Rosenstein's arrest "a significant step forward" in combating crime that crosses international borders.

A 2002 Miami drug case involving the sale of 65,000 ecstasy tablets for $US393,000 ($519,290) led agents and police to Rosenstein, according to court documents.

According to an affidavit by DEA agent Robert Deak, the ecstasy was offered for sale to an undercover informant who worked for Miami-Dade County police and the DEA.

When it became difficult to get the drugs to Miami, arrangements were made to pick up the ecstasy in New York. New York police tailed a courier and raided the apartment, seizing the cash and the stash and arresting two men, including Israel Ashkenazi.

Also known as "Sharp", Ashkenazi was indicted in Miami, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 35 months in federal prison.

The DEA informant arranged the deal through Mordechai "Flaco" Cohen, a 29-year-old Israeli who lived in Spain, according to the affidavit. Cohen was indicted in Miami, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in hopes of reducing a possible 20-year sentence.

Cohen, now serving 87 months, told authorities he was introduced over the telephone to Rosenstein by a top "lieutenant", Shemtov Michtavi. Michtavi, 52, was convicted by a federal jury in Miami in September and is scheduled to be sentenced on November 19.
According to the affidavit, Cohen said Rosenstein told him he was behind the deal. After the drugs were seized, he said, Rosenstein called and said he needed to know what happened because "the person who was supposed to pick up the pills must have been in law enforcement."

Following the raid, court documents said, Israeli police passed on information that Rosenstein had been involved in supplying the seized drugs.

The following quotes are excerpts from the article Criminal Justice - The Israeli Connection

Mordechai “Flaco” Cohen. Cohen, who grew up in Colombia and moved to Madrid in 2001, is the son of Elias Cohen, an alleged drug lord in Colombia...

Michtavi’s defense lawyer at trial, Bruce Lehr of Lehr & Gasalla in Miami, said in an interview earlier this month that he had not yet talked to his client but was “sure he will be thrilled” with the 11th Circuit ruling. Ira N. Loewy, a partner at Bierman Shohat & Loewy in Miami, handled the appeal...

Two months before the Manhattan bust, Michtavi and Cohen met at Cohen’s home in Madrid to discuss a contract murder...

Michtavi testified that Cohen said his father, Elias Cohen, had ordered two Colombian brothers to kill Rosenstein and Michtavi at the direction of a rival Israeli crime syndicate, the Alperon family. According to Michtavi, Cohen said he could intervene and stop the hits if Michtavi and Rosenstein gave him money to pay off the Colombian hit men. Michtavi said he and Rosenstein arranged for a series of payments to be made to Cohen to save their lives. 

In contrast, Cohen testified that Michtavi asked him to hire the two Colombian hit men to kill members of the rival Alperon family. Cohen said that is when he decided to begin working with the Israeli National Police...

According to news accounts, the Israeli government agreed to extradite Rosenstein only if the United States agreed to allow him to serve any prison sentence in Israel. Rosenstein is being held under 24-hour video surveillance in an Israeli prison. He sits in the same cell that once held the man who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 10 years ago.

Authorities said the drugs had been made in Amsterdam, while deals were sealed in Israel. That information led to the sweep and the discovery of some 1.6 million Ecstasy pills in Germany...

The Dadush brothers were convicted in April 2004 in Israel for financing drug buys and arranging the deals. The Jerusalem Post reported last November that they and their families were flown to the United States from Israel — where they were serving 18 years for their roles in the drug ring. According to the article, both men and their families will enter federal protective custody and receive new identities and U.S. citizenship in exchange for their testimony.



Saturday, September 15, 2012

A 9-11 and Mossad-connected Israeli you've never heard of - Uzi Bohadana

On September 11, 2001, a former Israeli soldier, 24 year old Uzi Bohadana, was in the Jackson, Mississippi area.  Three days later he was detained by the local authorities while moving items from a storage unit to a van, ostensibly to help his brother-in-law.

Bohadana, along with many others, had been caught up in the biggest dragnet in U.S. history, a "crackdown on terrorism" in the wake of 9-11, directed by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

One of Bohadana's attorneys is an immigrant rights advocate whose last name is ironically, Ice. Attorney (Patricia) Ice said Bohadana had been in the country for less than six months on a tourist visa. Harry E. Moran, of the Immigration and Naturalization Service's state office at the time, recalled that the visa had expired at the time of Bohadana's arrest.

Look up Uzi Bohadana on any run of the mill people search engine (like and this comes up.  Does that 3rd address look familiar?:

If it does it's because 701 S. 21st Avenue in Hollywood, Florida is the location of the building rented in 2000-2001 by Mossad team leader Hanan Serfaty (sometimes spelled Serfati) as reported by Germany's Die Zeit in the article "Next Door to Mohammed Atta".  

During 2001, officials at the Drug Enforcement Administration began assembling a report on activities of Israeli "art students" selling cheap looking paintings door-to-door, appearing frequently at the homes and offices of DEA and other government agency officials.  Serfaty appears in the report as a "team leader" of the so-called art students, along with the names of dozens of other Israeli nationals.  The html version of the report is at this link; the PDF version is here. 

In a 2009 article on titled "Art Students in WTC Connected to Israeli Intelligence Service",  author Jonathan Elinoff writes: 

Hanan Serfaty was arrested by DEA agents in connection to the Israeli spy ring. 

What makes him stand out, is that he was listed as being an art student who was part of the World Views program, which was in the World Trade Center on floors 90 and 91 in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council...

(ed. correction on above - Serfaty was NOT part of the World Views Program, as stated by Elinoff - all participants are found at this link  In fact, there is no evidence that any art students or artists in the WTC under the World Views Program were connected to Israeli intelligence as Elinoff states.  
The following Elinoff quotes are backed up by the DEA report, including Serfaty's bank activity and proximity to Mohammed Atta).

Hanan was an “art student” who was a former Israeli military intelligence officer who rented two Hollywood apartments close to the mail drop and apartment of Mohammed Atta and four other hijackers. 

Serfaty was moving large amounts of cash: he carried bank slips showing more than $100,000 deposited from December 2000 through the first quarter of 2001; other bank slips showed withdrawals for about $80,000 during the same period. Serfaty’s apartments, serving as crash pads for at least two other “art students”, were located at 4220 Sheridan Street and 701 South 21st Avenue. Lead hijacker Mohammed Atta’s mail drop was at 3389 Sheridan Street–approximately 2,700 feet from Serfaty’s Sheridan Street apartment. Both Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, the suicide pilot on United Airlines Flight 175, which smashed into World Trade Center 2, lived in a rented apartment at 1818 Jackson Street, some 1,800 feet from Serfaty’s South 21st Avenue apartment. 

Uzi Bohadana was in the news in the past year because of an attack he suffered while in detention in 2001 in a Mississippi jail.  Inmates at the jail had beaten him and in the process, broke his jaw.  The beating took place after Bohadana allegedly made derogatory comments about the U.S., according to the Madison County Sheriff's department.

From "The Day", New London, CT 12-10-2001
According to a 2011 LA Times piece, Federal immigration officials brought the injured Bohadana to the office of Rodney Hunt, M.D.  Hunt said he later learned from news reports that the man was an "Israeli Muslim" who had "overstayed his visa and had been in our country illegally for 2 1/2 years" which spurred him to organize the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement, or MFIRE.   According to two of his attorneys at the time, Bohadana was Jewish, not Muslim.

One hundred twenty miles south of Madison County, in the Stone County Correctional Facility in Wiggins, Mississippi, Pakistani student Hasnain Javed was being held on similar charges of visa violations.  Detained a few days after Bohadana's arrest, he also suffered assaults by prison inmates after he supposedly made derogatory statements about the US, according to the Stone County Sheriff's department, an accusation which Javed, like Bohadana, denies. Both Bohadana and Javed got a mention in the August 2002 edition of the journal Human Rights Watch.

In the FBI files on the Mossadnik "Dancing Israelis", it was reported by more than one employee of Israeli owned Urban Moving Systems that snide remarks concerning the US were common among the Israelis working there:

Had Bohadana made remarks that led to a jailhouse altercation, or was he simply a victim of the then 9-11 fueled anti-Middle Eastern zeitgeist?  Was he really helping a relative move, or was he preparing to leave for Israel, mission accomplished?  For now, all information on Bohadana's arrest and detention is in books, and articles such as this one by the UN High Commission on Refugees:
  • On September 14, 2001, the FBI arrested Uzi Bohadana, a twenty-four-year-old Jewish Israeli, in Jackson, Mississippi. The INS charged him with an immigration violation for working while on a tourist visa.
Bohadana said that on September 16 he was beaten by six accused or convicted criminals who were his cellmates at the Madison County Jail in Canton, Mississippi. He told Human Rights Watch that he was taken to a hospital after the attack, where he received stitches on his eye and lip, but he could not have surgery on his broken jaw because the hospital did not have the capabilities.

The next day, he was taken to an INS office and interrogated by the FBI and the INS for one and a half hours while injured. Bohadana asserted that at the time of the interrogation he could hardly talk and was dizzy because of the painkillers he had been given. He said that he was informed of his right to contact a lawyer and the consulate of Israel, but he claimed that the agents told him that "if he talked it'd be quicker." He said he was in pain and agreed to talk without a lawyer. He was asked about the jail assault he had suffered and about the September 11 attacks.

Bohadana was later transferred to Concordia Parish Jail in Ferriday, Louisiana where the FBI interrogated him twice and the INS once. He said that at the first FBI interrogation there he was "overwhelmed with drugs," and could not answer the questions. The agents stopped the interrogation after ten minutes. Bohadana said that the day of his second interrogation jail staff told him that the FBI had ordered that he not be given any medication until after the questioning, so he was in pain all morning. That interrogation lasted for about two hours, during which he was asked about the terrorist attacks. Bohadana said he was not told he had the right to a lawyer during the interrogations at this facility, and he did not ask for one. He told Human Rights Watch that he did not need an attorney because he was innocent and had nothing to hide. Bohadana was released on bond on October 5, 2001.

Was Bohadana, like the "Dancing Israelis", in possession of a return ticket to Tel Aviv, dated just after 9-11-2001?  Was he questioned by the FBI, as he claims, under duress?  Did he really refuse to have an attorney present?  We may not know until he drops dead.  That is because official details on the Bohadana arrest are not readily available.  

The Madison County Sheriff's Department no longer has any records as the case was handed over to the FBI and INS. The FBI will not release any information on Uzi Bohadana's arrest due to privacy concerns (letter at this link). The INS has since merged with the Department of Homeland Security.  A call to DHS in Jackson, Misisissippi went nowhere:  a befuddled staffer there did not know where to send me, as the INS had not transferred its old records to DHS.  

And so it goes - another Mossad linked Israeli becomes a footnote in the "war on terror"; a prima facie study (if it's all true) on how not to treat a detainee, while any of Bohadana's connections to 9-11 slip down the memory hole.  

Related - The Official FBI Documents on Urban Moving Systems and the 9-11 Dancing Israelis