Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Heist Largest in History

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By Myles Collier , Christian Post Contributor
May 4, 2012|9:28 am

Arrests have been made in what authorities are calling the largest pharmaceutical theft in United States history.

Amaury Villa and his brother, Amed, were charged in Connecticut with facilitating and conducting the Eli Lilly warehouse burglary.

Federal prosecutors explained that they took 11 people into custody and charged them in connection with running a large pharmaceutical theft organization in Florida which knocked off warehouses around the U.S.

The United States attorney's office in Miami stated that one of the thefts targeted the Eli Lilly warehouse in Connecticut in 2010. This particular burglary is regarded at that largest pharmaceutical heist in history; more than $80 million worth of pills were taken in the theft.

On Thursday, the 18-count indictment was released and highlighted the 3-year investigation called Operation Southern Hospitality, which was about tracking down the sale and distribution of stolen medication including Xanax, Prozac and the cancer drug Gemzar.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said the defendants, all of whom remain in custody, displayed a "callous disregard for the safety and health of the ultimate consumer who might buy and use these drugs, unaware of their questionable past."

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Members of the South Florida crime ring were charged with conspiring to sell and distribute prescription medications, liquor, cigarettes and cell phones reportedly stolen from warehouses and distribution trucks all around the nation.

Authorities have stated that the total value of all the stolen goods topped more than $100 million, a value that makes it the largest recovery of stolen cargo in U.S. history.

Eli Lilly & Co. officials aided and cooperated with the criminal investigation and were thankful that the criminals were arrested and the drugs recovered before they caused serious injury.

Maria Crowe, a senior executive with the company, in a statement explained that Eli Lilly will destroy the stolen products when they are no longer needed as evidence.

 

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