Feds arrive to take Rosenstein to US

US marshals land to begin preparations for extradition of mob kingpin.

zeev rosenstein 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
zeev rosenstein 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Three US marshals arrived in Israel on Wednesday in preparation for Zev Rosenstein's extradition to the US, which police believe will take place next week. While they are here, the marshals will hold meetings with Israeli officials to co-ordinate Rosenstein's transfer to US authorities. A police spokesman declined to detail the escort Rosenstein will receive when he travels from prison to the airport, saying it was a "security matter." He added that he expected the trial to take place within a few months. At the beginning of last month, the Jerusalem District Court rejected a petition by Rosenstein to stop the extradition, with his lawyers arguing that an order signed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni in December had expired. The court ruled that the order was still in effect and that the Justice Ministry could extradite him to the US to stand trial in Miami on charges of drug running. Rosenstein was arrested in November 2004 after Israeli authorities received a request from their US counterparts. Until he was taken in, the police referred to him as Public Enemy No. 1 and they had him their sights for years. Rosenstein's organization - one of the largest and most notorious in Israel - has severely deteriorated since his arrest, Tel Aviv Police chief Cmdr. David Zur said in November. What was once a prosperous organization has now become a minor player in the criminal world, with several of Rosenstein's men still watching over and directing only some of what is left of the operations. The US has accused Rosenstein of conspiring to import into the country more than one million Ecstasy (MDMA) pills that were manufactured in Europe. The conspiracy allegedly began in 1999 and lasted two years.