Three More Florida Men Charged in $80 Million Drug Theft from Eli Lilly Warehouse in Enfield
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 22, 2014|
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut today announced that three more Florida men have been arrested for their alleged participation in the March 2010 theft of approximately $80 million in pharmaceuticals from an Eli Lilly Company warehouse and storage facility in Enfield, Connecticut.
On April 10, 2014, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a second superseding indictment charging Amaury Villa, 39, of Miami; Yosmany Nunez, also known as “El Gato,” 41, of Southwest Ranches, Florida; Alexander Marquez, 40, of Hialeah, Florida; and Rafael Lopez, 49, of Miami, on federal conspiracy and theft charges. The indictment was unsealed yesterday.
Nunez, Marquez, and Lopez, who are citizens of Cuba, were arrested last week in Florida. Villa was originally charged by indictment in March 2012 and has been in federal custody since May 2012.
The second superseding indictment alleges that, between January and March 2010, Villa, Nunez, Marquez, Lopez, and another individual conspired to steal pharmaceuticals from the Eli Lilly Company warehouse and storage facility in Enfield. The investigation revealed that, in early 2010, Villa, Nunez, and others traveled from the Miami area to Connecticut to gather information about the warehouse facility and the surrounding area. Shortly before the theft, Lopez and another individual traveled to Flushing, New York, where they purchased tools needed to break into the warehouse facility and then traveled to Connecticut.
The indictment alleges that, in the evening of March 13, 2010, Marquez drove a tractor trailer to the parking lot of the Eli Lilly warehouse facility. Later that evening, Villa and a co-conspirator carried a ladder to the warehouse, checked for security in the front area, climbed onto the roof, used the tools to cut a hole in the facility roof, dropped down into the facility, and disabled the alarm system. Thereafter, Villa and others loaded approximately 49 pallets of pharmaceuticals into the tractor trailer, which they had backed up to the loading dock of the warehouse.
The indictment alleges that Lopez was in the vicinity of the Enfield warehouse at the time of the theft and communicated by cell phone with a co-conspirator who was inside the warehouse.
The pallets of pharmaceuticals included thousands of boxes Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac, Gemzar, and other medicines, valued at approximately $80 million.
It is alleged that Marquez drove the tractor trailer containing the stolen pharmaceuticals from Connecticut to Florida. Villa, Nunez, Marquez, and a co-conspirator then met in Florida, unloaded the stolen pharmaceuticals from the tractor trailer, and stored them in public storage facility in the Miami area.
As part of an investigation in the Southern District of Florida, on October 14, 2011, a search of a storage facility in Florida recovered pharmaceuticals that had been stolen from the Enfield warehouse.
The defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years; four counts of theft from an interstate shipment, each of which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; and one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
Nunez and Marquez were arrested on April 17 in Florida. Both are detained pending hearings that are scheduled for April 24 in Fort Lauderdale. Lopez surrendered to authorities yesterday. He was released on bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in the District of Connecticut on May 1.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Enfield Police Department, with the assistance of several other U.S. Attorney’s Offices and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that have been investigating large-scale thefts of pharmaceuticals and other products.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anastasia E. King and Douglas P. Morabito, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
An indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.