Eli Lilly Drug Heist Mastermind Sentenced to 6+ Years in Jail
Published: Feb 06, 2015
February 5, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Yosmany Nunez, the first of five defendants named in the 2010 Eli Lilly and Company warehouse heist, has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for his role in the crime. Nunez and his colleagues had visited the Connecticut warehouse in the middle of the night and filled a tractor-trailer with more than $50 million worth of pharmaceutical drugs, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Nunez, a Cuban immigrant, is also facing a deportation order. The team of robbers traveled from Florida up to Connecticut to steal goods from the warehouse on March 14, 2010. Once they arrived, they cut a hole into the ceiling of the building to get inside and seize the drugs. The alarm system at the warehouse, located in Enfield, Conn., was disabled before the heist began.
Reuters reported that Nunez pleaded guilty to one count of transporting stolen property on Nov. 5. Since his sentencing, his lawyers have not responded for comment.
Some of the drugs that were stolen in the heist include Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac and Gemzar. Several of the pharmaceuticals were discovered in October 2011, and arrests were eventually made in May 2012.
Eli Lilly Responds to Heist
On March 17, 2010, Eli Lilly and Company responded to news of the heist that occurred on March 14, 2010.
"Since early Sunday morning, Lilly has taken quick and appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our medicines," said Fionnuala Walsh, Lilly's senior vice president of global quality. "The U.S. pharmaceutical distribution system is tightly controlled and monitored, making it extremely difficult for stolen product to make it to patients through legitimate channels. However, we will continue to work closely with local and federal law enforcement authorities, the FDA, and our distribution partners to maintain the integrity of our drug supply chain."
At the time, the company stated that it was working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Office of Criminal Investigations and other law enforcement officials to recover items that had been stolen.
In addition, Eli Lilly asked its practitioners, retailers and consumers to check all of their pharmaceutical products for signs of tampering or damage. It also released a list of drugs that had been stolen from the Connecticut warehouse.
One day after the heist, the company stopped distributing products that came from the affected lot numbers.
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