May 2, 2014

Florida Man Involved in $80 Million Drug Theft from Eli Lilly Warehouse in Enfield Pleads Guilty

The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut today announced that Amaury Villa, 39, a citizen of Cuba last residing in Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to federal conspiracy and theft charges stemming from his participation in the March 2010 theft of approximately $80 million in pharmaceuticals from an Eli Lilly Company warehouse and storage facility in Enfield, Connecticut.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between January and March 2010, Amaury Villa, his brother Amed Villa, and others conspired to steal pharmaceuticals from the Eli Lilly Company warehouse and storage facility in Enfield. In early 2010, Amaury Villa and others traveled from the Miami area to Connecticut to gather information about the warehouse facility and the surrounding area. In the evening of March 13, 2010, a tractor trailer was driven to the parking lot of the Eli Lilly warehouse facility. Later that evening, Amaury and Amed Villa checked for security in the front area, climbed onto the roof, used tools to cut a hole in the facility roof, dropped down into the facility, and disabled the alarm system. Thereafter, Amaury Villa and his co-conspirators loaded approximately 49 pallets of pharmaceuticals into the tractor trailer, which they had backed up to the loading dock of the warehouse. The tractor trailer then traveled to Florida.

The pallets of pharmaceuticals included thousands of boxes Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac, Gemzar, and other medicines, valued at approximately $80 million.

Amaury Villa, who has been in federal custody since May 2012, pleaded guilty to 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.

Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for July 24, 2014.

On October 14, 2011, a search of a storage facility in Florida recovered pharmaceuticals that had been stolen from the Enfield warehouse. Amaury Villa subsequently pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy and possession of stolen goods charges, and, on November 26, 2012, he was sentenced to 140 months of imprisonment.

Amed Villa has pleaded guilty in the District of Connecticut to conspiracy and theft charges related to the Enfield theft and multimillion dollar warehouse burglaries in Illinois, Virginia, Florida, and Kentucky. He awaits sentencing.

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.