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Miami man pleads guilty to $90M Lilly drug heist

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A man accused in the theft of about $90 million in prescription drugs from a warehouse, believed to be the largest theft in Connecticut history, pleaded guilty on Monday.

Thieves broke into the Enfield warehouse of Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. in 2010 by scaling an exterior wall and cutting a hole in the roof. They lowered themselves to the floor and disabled alarms before using a forklift to load pallets of drugs into a getaway vehicle.

Amed Villa, a Cuban citizen who lived in Miami, pleaded guilty to federal theft and conspiracy charges stemming from his participation in the theft, the U.S. attorney's office said.

The stolen drugs, which included antidepressants, antipsychotics and a chemotherapy drug used to treat lung cancer, were recovered last year from a storage facility in Florida, authorities said. Villa touched a water bottle that had been stored within the warehouse and left the bottle inside the warehouse when he fled, prosecutors said.

Villa, whose sentencing date has not been set, faces up to 25 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Villa and his brother Amaury Villa, also a Cuban citizen who had been living in Miami, were arrested last year in Florida on theft and conspiracy charges alleging they participated in the theft.

Amed Villa also pleaded guilty to a theft charge related to about $8 million worth of cigarettes from a warehouse in Illinois in 2010. He plans to plead guilty to warehouse theft charges in Kentucky, Virginia and Florida, said his attorney, Jonathan J. Einhorn.

Einhorn said he preferred to have Villa sentenced for all the cases in Connecticut rather than face different judges in different states.

Acting U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said: "The Eli Lilly theft is reportedly the largest in Connecticut history, and I commend the FBI in New Haven and the Enfield Police Department, as well as our counterparts in the Central District of Illinois and other jurisdictions, for their cooperative investigative efforts in dismantling a prolific cargo theft ring."

Amaury Villa has pleaded not guilty in Connecticut. He pleaded guilty in Florida last year to possessing drugs stolen from the warehouse and was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

His attorney, Maria Elena Perez, who did not represent him in the Florida case, has said she's appealing the sentence and other issues in that case.

Lilly's products include Cymbalta and Cialis.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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