Alleged drug smugglers agree to plea

Ron Dotan, suspected of managing the smuggling ring, to serve 8.5 years.

A plea bargain has been struck in the case of the Dotan family from Kibbutz Gesher Haziv, who are accused of smuggling cocaine into Israel in wine bottles. The principal suspect, Ron Dotan, will receive eight and a half years in prison. His wife, Talia Dotan, will serve four and a half years. According to the initial indictment indictment, Ron Dotan was approached by a man by the name of Yehuda Sabag who offered him $5,000 to bring three bottles of liquid cocaine from Argentina to Israel. Dotan flew to Argentina on June 12, 2003 and brought the 0.75 liter bottles - that looked like bottles of wine - back to his home on the kibbutz. Later, he handed them over to a man named Gidi in return for $30,000. Dotan brought the money back to Sabag in Argentina and received three more bottles and $5,000 to take home. Back in Israel, a man named Douglas taught Ron and Talia Dotan how to convert the liquid cocaine into powder. After selling the powder, they handed over $30,000 to Douglas. Several months later, Dotan invited two kibbutz members to Argentina for a vacation at his expense and then asked them to bring back three bottles of 'wine' each for his wife. They did so and Talia Dotan, together with Douglas, converted the liquid into powder. Dotan then sold part of the cocaine powder for $37,000. According to the indictment, Ron and Talia Dotan continued to smuggle in cocaine and sell it until German customs authorities alerted Israel that two bottles, addressed to Idan Dotan, looked suspicious. Israeli authorities monitored the shipment and uncovered the ring.