Bloomberg News

Lilly $80M Drug Theft Leads to Arrests: U.S.

May 03, 2012

Two Cuban brothers were arrested and charged with helping steal about $80 million in pharmaceuticals, including Prozac and Zyprexa, from an Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY:US) warehouse in Connecticut, federal prosecutors said.

Amaury Villa, 37, and Amed Villa were arrested today in Florida on charges of theft and conspiracy for their role in the March 2010 break-in of the warehouse in Enfield, Connecticut, U.S. Attorney David B. Fein in Hartford, Connecticut, said in a statement.

“We believe that a prolific cargo theft ring has been dismantled,” Fein said.

Amaury Villa was also indicted in federal court in Miami with 10 others in an alleged scheme to sell the stolen Eli Lilly drugs. His brother Amed was also charged in an indictment unsealed today in Peoria, Illinois, where he’s accused of stealing $8 million worth of cigarettes from a warehouse in Tazewell County, Illinois, in January 2010.

In Connecticut, the conspirators cut a hole in the roof of a warehouse belonging to Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, according to an indictment. After disabling part of the security system, they took about 49 pallets of drugs, the government said.

Each of the four theft charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and the maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years, according to prosecutors.

The pharmaceuticals taken from Eli Lilly’s warehouse were recovered and will be destroyed when they’re no longer needed as evidence, the company said in an e-mailed statement from Maria Crowe, president of manufacturing operations.

The cases are U.S. v. Villa, 12-00040, U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut (Hartford); U.S. v. Villa, 12-20234, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (Miami); and U.S. v. Villa, 10-10113, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois (Peoria).

To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net; David Voreacos in Newark, New Jersey, at dvoreacos@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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Companies Mentioned

  • LLY
    (Eli Lilly & Co)
    • $66.8 USD
    • 1.31
    • 1.96%
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