Man pleads guilty to East Peoria warehouse theft

By WEEK Producer

July 2, 2013 Updated Jul 3, 2013 at 11:27 AM CDT

A Florida resident has pleaded guilty to stealing $8 million in cigarettes from a federal warehouse in East Peoria in 2010.

Amed Villa, 48, a citizen of Cuba last residing in Miami, Fla., pleaded guilty to a federal theft charge.

He admitted that on January 24, 2010, he and others stole more than 3,500 cases of cigarettes and a cargo trailer from a warehouse in East Peoria.

During this theft, the warehouse was accessed by a hole cut in the roof and the security system was bypassed.

A ladder and tools were discovered near the hole in the roof and a water bottle was recovered from the floor inside the warehouse. Analysis of DNA found on the water bottle revealed that the DNA profile was consistent with Villa.

Villa has been detained since his arrest in May 2012. He faces a maximum term of 25 years in prison.