One of the dudes who ripped off an estimated $90 million worth of drugs from an Eli Lilly warehouse in Enfield (the biggest such burglary in U.S. history) was part of a ring that pulled off a series of multi-million-dollar thefts in Virginia, Florida, Illinois and Kentucky, according to federal prosecutors.
Amed Villa is a 49-year-old citizen of Cuba who has pleaded guilty to taking part in the Eli Lilly warehouse job in March 2010. He's now admitted he was part of a sophisticated team that committed similar huge warehouse burglaries in other states.
The Eli Lilly job was a classic: the thieves cut their way in through the warehouse roof, rappelled down and cut all the alarms, then loaded up a tractor trailer truck with highly valuable pharmaceuticals.
Villa entered his latest guilty please in U.S. District Court in New Haven Tuesday. He admitted to being part of an operation that stole:
- $8 million in cigarettes from an East Peoria, Illinois, warehouse in January 2010.
- $13.3 million in drugs from a GlaxoSmithKline warehouse in Colonial Heights, Virginia, in August 2009.
- $7.8 million in cell phones and multi-media tablets from a Quality One Wireless warehouse in Orlando, Florida, in January 2011.
- $1.5 million in cigarettes from a Coremark Cigarette Warehouse in Leitchfield, Kentucky, in March 2011.
Villa, who was living in Miami, was picked up in May 2012 and entered his first guilty plea in July of this year.
All those theft and conspiracy charges could bring Villa more than 50 years in prison sentences.
Whatever happens, he and his fellow thieves will still go down as some of the biggest rip-off artists in U.S. history.