$70 million worth of stolen pharmaceuticals recovered

Posted May 11, 2012 by Tim Sandle
US law enforcement officials have successfully investigated and recovered more than $70 million in pharmaceuticals stolen from a distribution center located in Enfield, Connecticut.
A pharmacy
A typical pharmacy in the U.S.
Photo by cleanwalmart (CC BY 2.0)
On Sunday, March 14, 2010 a vast hoard of pharmaceutical products was stolen from a warehouse located in Connecticut. This week federal investigators located the remainder of the hoard and impounded the drugs, as reported by the Tonnari Post.
The New York Times notes that the drugs hoard included a range of prescriptions drugs including including Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac and Gemzar.
The operation was led by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Reuters reports that The operation led to two brothers being arrested. They have been named as Amaury Villa and Amed Villa. One of the brothers was an employee of Lilly's.
All of the drugs were made by one big pharma company, Eli Lilly and Company. The drugs, once all of the evidence has been reviewed, will be returned to Lily and the company will destroy them in case there has been any risk of tampering.
Maria Crowe, President, Manufacturing Operations, Eli Lilly and Company, said in a press release:
" For more than two years, Lilly has cooperated with this criminal investigation — providing important information to federal and local authorities to help piece together the details of the theft."
Crowe went on to say:
" We applaud the dedication of the Enfield Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice prosecutors in New
Haven, Newark, and Miami, and the Miami Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, who have worked tirelessly to identify and apprehend those suspected of being involved in the March 2010 burglary."
As a result of the theft, seven pharmaceutical companies, including Lilly, formed an organization called the Coalition for Patient Safety and Medicine Integrity in 2011. Two main goals of the coalition are to protect patients from risks posed by stolen and inappropriately handled medical products that enter legitimate distribution channels and increase the associated federal criminal penalties for crimes involving stolen medical products.