Dmitri Bogotich - Ilan Assayag - Jan. 3, 2011
Dmitri Bogotich arriving back in Israel on Jan. 3, 2011. Photo by Ilan Assayag
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The head of an Israeli neo-Nazi gang was sentenced to 69 months in prison and a 12-year suspended term after he was convicted of leading a violent racist group that terrorized foreign workers, junkies and homeless people for about two years.

Dmitri Bogotich, 23, confessed as part of a plea bargain to committing numerous crimes, including aggravated assault, publishing racist incitement and possessing racist material.

Between 2005 and 2007, while serving as an Israel Defense Forces soldier, Dmitri joined a group of young men to form a neo-Nazi group. They held meetings in which they got drunk together, photographed themselves giving the Nazi salute and discussed neo-Nazi ideology.

They targeted Asian and African migrant workers and gay and homeless people, and they documented the assaults and posted the material on the neo-Nazi website Format 18 and on YouTube.

Eight members of the gang, between the ages of 17 and 20, were sent to prison for sentences ranging from one year to seven years. Bogotich, the ringleader, fled to Russia and was extradited to Israel from Kyrgyzstan.

In one incident, the group assaulted a drug addict near Tel Aviv's Carmel Market and forced him to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness. In a separate incident, they attacked a person with dark skin, and in another they broke a beer bottle over the head of a foreign worker.