A federal grand jury in Miami indicted 11 men for sale and distribution of $100 million in stolen freight, including $75 million in pharmaceuticals taken in the brazen burglary of an Eli Lilly & Co. warehouse in Enfield, Conn.
Authorities describe the Eli Lilly break-in in March 2010 as the largest cargo theft case in U.S. history. Thieves cut into the warehouse’s room, rappelled down, disabled the security system and loaded two trucks with anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Miami said the 18-count indictment resulted from an investigation dubbed Operation Southern Hospitality.
The indictments include charges related to the Eli Lilly burglary and thefts of 3,500 cases of cigarettes worth more than $8 million from a warehouse in Razewell County, Ill., in January 2010 and thefts of pharmaceuticals from trailers at truck stops in Pennsylvania and Ohio and from a GlaxoSmithKline warehouse in Virginia.
“This investigation represents the largest takedown in U.S. history involving cargo theft. The theft includes more than $100 million, including $80 million worth of pharmaceuticals,” said John V. Gilles, FBI special agent in charge in Miami.
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