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Indictment Brings 3 More Arrests in $80 Million Theft

The three Florida men were allegedly involved in the largest drug heist in Connecticut history.

The Eli Lilly Co. warehouse in Enfield, Conn. Credit: Patch File Photo
The Eli Lilly Co. warehouse in Enfield, Conn. Credit: Patch File Photo
A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging three more men in connection with the theft of approximately $80 million in pharmaceuticals from an Eli Lilly Co. warehouse in Enfield.

Federal authorities have said that the theft, in March 2010, was the largest drug heist in Connecticut history.

The indictment came down April 10 and was unsealed Monday. It charges Amaury Villa, 39, of Miami, Yosmany Nunez, 41, of Southwest Ranches, Fla., Alexander Marquez, 40, of Hialeah, Fla., and Rafael Lopez, 49, of Miami, with federal conspiracy and theft.
 
Nunez, also known as "El Gato," and Marquez and Lopez — who are all citizens of Cuba — were arrested last week in Florida, authorities said.

Villa was originally charged by indictment in March 2012 and has been in federal custody since May 2012. 

This second superseding indictment returned Monday alleges that, between January and March 2010, Villa, Nunez, Marquez, Lopez and another individual conspired to steal pharmaceuticals from the Eli Lilly Co. warehouse and storage facility in Enfield. 

Federal authorities said 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, N.Y., where they reportedly 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. 

Authorities said Villa and others then 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 Miami area, according to authorities.

As part of an investigation in the Southern District of Florida, on Oct. 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.

Authorities stressed that 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.

Rodger Higgins April 25, 2014 at 02:37 AM
So much for this immigration crap, let them in so they can commit crimes. Seal the borders and kick these scum sucking bastards home, ALL OF THEM.

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