Two Florida Men Admit Participating in Multi-Million Drug Theft from Eli Lilly Warehouse in Enfield
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that two Florida residents pleaded guilty today in New Haven federal court to charges related to their participation in the theft of pharmaceuticals from an Eli Lilly Company warehouse and storage facility in Enfield, Conn. YOSMANY NUNEZ, also known as “El Gato,” 42, of Southwest Ranches, Fla., ALEXANDER MARQUEZ, 41, of Hialeah, Fla., each pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of stolen property.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in early 2010, NUNEZ, MARQUEZ, Amaury Villa, Amed Villa and another individual planned to steal pharmaceuticals from the Eli Lilly Company warehouse and storage facility in Enfield. The investigation revealed that, prior to the theft, NUNEZ and Amaury Villa traveled from the Miami area to Connecticut to gather information about the warehouse facility and the surrounding area. Shortly before the theft, Amed Villa and another individual traveled to Flushing, N.Y., where they purchased tools needed to break into the warehouse facility, and then traveled to Connecticut.
In the evening of March 13, 2010, individuals involved in the theft dropped off a ladder in the rear parking lot of the warehouse facility and left. That same night, MARQUEZ drove a tractor trailer to the facility. Thereafter, Amed Villa and Amaury Villa carried the ladder to the building, 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. Amaury Villa, Amed Villa and NUNEZ then loaded more than 40 pallets of pharmaceuticals into the tractor trailer, which had been backed up to the loading dock of the warehouse.
The pallets of pharmaceuticals included thousands of boxes Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac, Gemzar and other medicines, valued between $50 and $100 million.
The individuals who participated in the theft split up in Connecticut. MARQUEZ then drove the tractor trailer to Florida, where he subsequently reunited with Amaury Villa, Amed Villa and NUNEZ so the pharmaceuticals could be transferred from the tractor trailer into self-storage units in the Miami area.
On October 14, 2011, law enforcement authorities searched a storage facility in Florida and recovered pharmaceuticals that had been stolen from the Enfield warehouse.
NUNEZ and MARQUEZ, who are both citizens of Cuba, were arrested on April 17, 2014. NUNEZ is detained and Marquez is released on a $200,000 bond. They are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arteron in February 2015, at which time each faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
Amaury Villa and Amed Villa have also pleaded guilty and await 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.