The largest prescription drug heist in United States history has come to an end in Florida – a state already plagued with a severe painkiller problem. In fact, the bust is really only part of a larger overall epidemic of prescription drug abuse that has taken the country by storm. In this case the theft of millions of dollars in drugs from the Eli Lilly factory began in Connecticut, had connections in various other states and ended with the recovery of the drugs in Florida.
Police reports allege that rather uncomplicated criminals used sophisticated methods to cut a hole in the roof of the Eli Lilly warehouse in Enfield, Connecticut. Eli Lilly is one of the country’s largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and has similar warehouses and distribution points around the country.
In this case the thieves were able to successfully disable the alarm system of the warehouse before descending into the building through the hole they had cut in the roof. Once inside the thieves were brave enough to use a forklift to load more than $70 million dollars in drugs onto a tractor trailer truck and drive the load away unchallenged.
In many cases of drugs heists in the US, the substances in question are generally narcotics; painkillers like Oxycontin, Percoset, Vicodin, morphine and similar drugs. But in this case the thieves made off with millions in drugs like Zyprexa, Cymbalta and Prozac – not typically drugs that people steal to get high. Authorities speculate that the thieves intended to sell the drugs on the black market, but may have encountered difficulty in offloading the not-so-desirable pills.
Additionally, authorities indicate that the drugs were not properly stored and could have posed a serious risk to anyone person who later acquired them. In an article for the New York Times, Peter Applebome writes;
“In many thefts, however, stolen drugs end up in stores, often after being stored in unsafe conditions. Eli Lilly, which was insured for the theft, said the drugs would be destroyed when they were no longer needed as evidence.” (1)
However, officials have stated that these types of thefts are increasingly being executed all across the country – most of the time with the target being prescription narcotics, but an increasing number of thieves will attempt to steal and sell whatever they can get their hands on, creating a dangerous situation for legitimate consumers nationwide. This is especially true in Florida, where drug abuse and addiction runs rampant.
Thefts like these could make it more difficult for people to obtain the medications they legitimately need, as authorities are likely to eventually seek to tighten the control of drugs that were previously uninteresting to thieves. Now that criminals are stealing everything from respiratory drugs to cancer medication, it seems likely that the general American public will suffer as a result if the problem is not stopped.
If someone you love is abusing prescription drugs, their freedom and their very lives could be in danger. Do something about it by calling the number at the top of your screen right now for an immediate consultation. We’re here 24 hours per day and we can help you no matter where you are, what time it is or how bad your problem is. Don’t waste another moment – call now.
(1) Applebome, Peter 2 Brothers Accused in Huge Theft of Prescription Drugs New York Times, NYTimes.com 05/03/2012