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Israeli Crime Boss Pleads Guilty to 2003 Sherman Oaks Murder

Co-defendant Moshe Malul is due for trial for allegedly hiring members of the North Hollywood-based Vineland Boys street gang to kill a drug associate.

A 43-year-old Israeli man pleaded guilty today to a federal murder charge for a 2003 killing in Sherman Oaks where the victim interfered with a drug deal.

Itzhak Abergil, the leader of the Abergil crime family, pleaded guilty to charges including racketeering conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to import the drug Ecstasy and racketeering conspiracy to commit extortion, U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. announced.

Abergil admitted that Sami Atias was fatally shot for interfering with a drug deal in which Atias and others were involved, Birotte said.

A second defendant, 52-year-old Israel Ozifa of Israel, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import Ecstasy, Birotte said.

The two were charged in a 77-page federal grand jury indictment issued July 2008.

Co-defendant Moshe Malul is due for trial on Sept. 25 on racketeering and murder charges based on Malul's alleged hiring of the members of the Vineland Boys street gang, which is based in North Hollywood, to kill Atias in retaliation for Atias stealing Ecstasy that belonged to Malul and others.

Agents intercepted about 100,000 Ecstasy pills at hubs in the Midwest that were being transshipped to Southern California. The street price for the drugs was estimated at about $2 million.

Abergil, Ozifa and co-conspirators were under investigation by Belgian authorities at the time.

Itzhak Abergil, his brother Meir Abergil and Ozifa were extradited in January 2011 to the United States from Israel -- the first extradition under Israel's racketeering law, which parallels the U.S.'s federal racketeering statue known as RICO.

Itzhak Abergil is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder on May 21 and Ozifa is due to be sentenced by the same judge two days later.

Lightnapper May 08, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Wikipedia offers an article on this crime syndicate. In part, "The US State Department considers the Abergils as one of the world’s top 40 drug importers to the US. US federal prosecutors claim that when the Abergils wished to expand their mob syndicate in the US, they turned for help to an upstart Latino street gang known as the Vineland Boyz. The Boyz' feud with the Mexican Mafia, known as "La Eme", sent the Boyz looking for a new source of drugs, which the Israelis provided. The Abergils, along with Moshe Malul and Israel Ozifa, are also charged with smuggling cocaine and hashish from Europe to the United States." In the 1980's, a "crew" of junior high kids played football on Vineland Ave. They formed a gang. It became violent. La eMe (Mexican Mafia) put a "green light" (ok to murder) on Boyz in an attempt to control them. They were bringing too much attention to "family business." I remember many drive-by shootings involving rivals and Boyz. The Boyz are responsible for the murder of Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka (2003). Local and federal law enforcement joined forces and "hammered down" on the gang. It was the first time local law enforcement used RICO to "squash" a street gang. Many gang members were imprisoned for murder, narcotics, weapons, extortion, and money laundering. Now we're seeing the "king-pins" of part of this criminal enterprise imprisoned. Vineland Boyz reside in North Hollywood, Sun Valley, Sylmar, Burbank, Palmdale, among other areas.
Chuck May 09, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Believe it or not they're here. Israeli mafia, and Armenian mafia, though punks compared to the old Italian bosses, they still rule their limited domain here in the valley. Like the Vietnamese gangs in Monterey Park, they feed off their own kind. So pathetic...
Linda Rubin May 09, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Remembering the 2009 shooting at the North Hollywood Sephardic synagogue also linked to the Israeli mafia. These are some Israeli exports that should definitely have been boycotted!

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