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Miami Man To Plead Not Guilty To Connecticut Drug Theft

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South Florida Crime

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBSMiami/AP) – A South Florida man accused in taking part in the theft of about $80 million in prescription drugs from a warehouse in Connecticut will be arraigned on Thursday.

Amed Villa will plead not guilty in U.S. District Court in New Haven, said his attorney Jonathan J. Einhorn.

Villa, 46, and his 37-year-old brother, Amaury, both citizens of Cuba who live in Miami, were arrested last month on federal theft and conspiracy charges related to their alleged participation in the theft, called the biggest in Connecticut history.

In March 2010, thieves broke into the Enfield warehouse of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. by scaling an exterior wall and cutting a hole in the warehouse roof. They used ropes to lower themselves to the floor and disabled alarms before using a forklift to load pallets of drugs into a getaway vehicle.

The stolen drugs, which included antidepressants, antipsychotics and a chemotherapy drug used to treat lung cancer, were recovered last year from a storage facility in Florida, authorities said.

Amed Villa touched a water bottle that had been stored within the warehouse and left the bottle inside the warehouse when he fled, prosecutors said.

Amaury and Amed Villa are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft from an interstate shipment, which carries a maximum prison term of five years, and four counts of theft from an interstate shipment, each of which carries a prison term of up to 10 years.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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