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Amos Dov Silver, Israeli founder of the drug distribution network Telegrass, on Saturday night, was extradited to Israel from Ukraine.

Silver has been in Ukrainian custody since March. He recently broke out of prison and was quickly arrested by Ukrainian police in Uman. A Ukrainian court approved sIlver’s extradition to stand trial in Israel for various crimes he committed as the leader of Telegrass.

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The Israeli Police and the State Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Silver is suspected of having started a narcotics distribution network, which was operational since 2017 and had been used as a platform for the trade of Cannabis, MDMA and other psychedelic drugs. The network was allegedly used by thousands of drug dealers to sell massive quantities of illegal drugs, including to minors.

Silver was arrested in Ukraine this past March, as dozens of other operatives of the network were simultaneously arrested in Israel. They were then charged with the sales of dangerous drugs on tens of thousands of occasions, the involvement of minors in drugs, drug trafficking, obstruction of justice and various other crimes. They were also suspected of money laundering a total sum of NIS 30 million.

The drug distribution network Telegrass used the anonymous instant-messaging app Telegram for its operations. The app facilitated drug trades between drug dealers and buyers and required minimal verification of identity.

The use of drugs such as cannabis has been debated fiercely in recent years, and many young Israelis support the legalization of such drugs. Israeli lawmakers have made efforts to decriminalize cannabis, and many have promised further policy changes in the last elections.  Silver is therefore hailed as a hero by some, who say he is simply ahead of his time, functioning as an entrepreneur in a field that will soon be legalized.

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