By Gregory B. Hladky
11:59 AM EDT, May 3, 2012
Two Cuban nationals have been arrested in Florida and charged with taking part in the biggest drug heist in history, which also happened to be the biggest theft in Connecticut history.
Amaury Villa, 37, and his brother, Amed Villa, 46, were indicted for the theft of about $80 million in high-value pharmaceuticals from Eli Lilly's Enfield warehouse on the night of March 13-14, 2010.
The some or all of the stolen drugs, which included stuff like the anti-psychotic Zyprexa and anti-depressants like Prozac and Cymbalta, were apparently recovered from a Florida storage facility.
Amed Villa has also been charged in connection with the January 2010 theft of 3,500 cases of cigarettes (valued at more than $8 million) from a warehouse in Tazewell County, Illinois.
According to the federal indictment, Amaury Villa allegedly made a visit to Connecticut in January 2010 to check out the Eli Lilly warehouse and was captured looking in the door of the building by a security camera.
The day before the March burglary, the Villa brothers' accomplices apparently bought a special saw at a Home Depot in Flushing, N.Y. It was the kind of tool used to cut into the roof of the Eli Lilly warehouse.
A company listing Amaury Villa as its agent also leased two tractor trailer trucks, at least one of which is believed to have been used in the Enfield theft.
They also rented a Caddilac Escalade at Bradley International Airport to tool around in, and rented a room at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites in Windsor.
After breaking in through the Enfield warehouse roof, the thieves disabled the building's security system and used an Eli Lilly forklift to load up the drugs on the tractor trailer.
Inside the warehouse, according to the indictment, Amed Villa apparently touched a water bottle and left it there, apparently a mistake that helped lead the FBI to him and his brother.
Several other unnamed accomplices were referred to in the indictment. Those individuals haven't yet been charged in the case.
The brothers have been charged with conspiracy and theft from an interstate shipment, and face potential sentences of 45 years each if convicted.
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