IBJNews

Miami man pleads guilty to $90M Lilly drug heist

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

ADVERTISEMENT