Undercover agent breaks up plans for Colombian narcotics connection

Fifteen suspects busted in Tel Aviv were allegedly part of major drug ring.

Following a massive round of arrests that police described as a "blow to the drug infrastructure" in the Tel Aviv area, 15 suspected drug dealers arrested Sunday were brought before a Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court Monday for remand extensions. The 15, some allegedly involved in narcotics importing and some in drug dealing, were all arrested Sunday by detectives of the elite Tel Aviv District Central Investigative Unit following a lengthy undercover operation. Over the past four months, the CIU's Intelligence Department operated a secret informer, who was already part of the inner circles of the local drug culture. The informer was a known criminal who, according to senior CIU officer Dept.-Cmdr. Amir Moshe, was already well trusted by narcotics distributors in the Tel Aviv area. The informer gathered information about drug dealers in the central region, and also purchased from them large amounts of narcotics to be distributed on the street, including approximately 500 grams of cocaine, two kilograms of hashish and 800 doses of a special form of LSD administered in drops and which police said was a new commodity on the streets. The informer also uncovered a drug smuggling network that sought to import cocaine from Colombia to Israel. As a result of the information garnered by the informer, police were able to intercept two major cocaine shipments en route to Israel. In addition, police planted a fake supplier in Colombia - really an undercover officer - who conducted fake "transactions" to expose Tel Aviv-area dealers trying to import Colombian cocaine. "Whenever we catch dealers who distribute to all citizens, including children, we are attacking the narcotics infrastructure," Moshe said Monday. "I wish that we could always get similar results following investigations against drug dealers." The complex operation was first made public Sunday, with the arrests of the 15 suspects. All 15 of the suspects had their remands extended for periods of between five to 10 days, as police finalized the investigation and prepared to indict them.