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Guilty plea in theft of $90 million in drugs

A 48-year-old has entered a guilty plea to charges that he was a participant in the theft of approximately $90 million worth of pharmaceutical drugs from a warehouse belonging to the Eli Lilly company. The charges involved the defendant's involvement in a conspiracy to steal the drugs as they were being shipped from one state to another state. Investigators said the theft was similar in method to other pharmaceutical warehouse robberies that occurred previously, including one near Richmond, Virginia and several elsewhere.

The drugs taken included Prozac, Cymbalta, Zyprexa and a lung cancer chemotherapy drug marketed as Gemzar. Investigators stated they were able to link the defendant to the warehouse theft because of DNA on a water bottle they believe he left behind. They reported the defendant and others involved in the theft apparently climbed over a fence surrounding the warehouse, cut the roof open and then entered the building from above. Once inside, they allegedly loaded a total of 53 pallets of medical drugs into a truck's trailer, and drove it away.

The drugs were later recovered from a storage facility where they were being kept, according to police reports. Prosecutors believed the theft was one of a series engaged in by a relatively sophisticated ring of thieves who focused largely on prescription drugs. The defendant was also accused of being involved in the theft of cigarettes worth approximately $8 million in a separate incident. He also pled guilty to that charge.

He could be sentenced to up to 25 years in a federal prison. Theft of goods bound for interstate commerce is a federal crime with significant penalties. Anyone accused of such offenses needs an experienced criminal defense attorney to explore every available avenue of defense and of mitigation of the charges.

Source: The Courant, "Miami Man Pleads Guilty in $90 Million Enfield Pharmaceutical Theft" David Owens, Jul. 01, 2013

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