The Bedouin Abu Rkaik clan's business suffered a lethal blow by the Israel police when 14 suspected drug traffickers, all from the Bedouin community of Tel Sheva in the Negev, were arrested Thursday morning at the end of an undercover police operation.
The detainees include a woman and two minors, aged 15 and 17.
The undercover agent spent the past three months operating in the Tel Sheva area and the Beersheba city market. The agent is a former felon, who used to purchase heroin and crystal meth from local drug dealers.
Since the agent used to buy drugs from the area for his own consumption, he was familiar to the drug dealers as a local user, and they did not suspect him.
"He is known as a user, and this made it easy for him to operate," said Chief Superintendent Yossi Cohen, commander of the Negev Central Command.
During his activity, the agent collected evidence against 18 people suspected of dealing heroin and crystal meth, who operated in Tel Sheva and the Beersheba market.
Thursday morning, 160 police officers raided the suspects' homes, conducted searches and detained 14 suspects for investigation.
The suspects, all members of the Amu Rkaik tribe will be brought before the Beersheba Magistrate's Court later Thursday to have their remands extended.
"This is a big family," Cohen said, "Their specialty is drugs, break-ins, robberies, and more. The entire tribe that was arrest was involved in the crimes."
During the police raid, four vehicles and 100 grams of heroin were also seized.
According to Southern District Commander Yohanan Danino, police activity in the fight against drugs since the start of the year has been instrumental in achieving the district's goals to reduce drug trafficking and crime in general.
"The influence (this has had) on the quality of life of the Negev residents is priceless," he said during a short ceremony held after the conclusion of the operation.
Thursday's bust marks the sixth successful undercover operation by Negev police this year. Previous operations led to the arrest of 134 suspected drug traffickers.