Vet 'stitched heroin packets into dogs'

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The drugs were thought to be destined for New York City, Yahoo reported.

Federal prosecutors are accusing Andres Lopez Elorez, 38 of surgically implanting liquid heroin packets into puppies' abdomens so that they could smuggle the drugs into the United States.

Authorities said once the animals arrived, the drugs were removed.

Elorez fled to Spain after the 2005 and hid there for years until his arrest in 2015.

Andres Lopez Elorza became a fugitive in 2005 when two dozen suspected drug traffickers in Colombia were arrested.

"Dogs are mans" best friend and, as the defendant is about to learn, we are drug dealers' worst enemy'.

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US authorities say Lopez Elorza stitched packets of heroin into the bellies of Labrador retrievers and other breeds sent on commercial flights to New York City. Upon delivery, the drug would be cut out of their stomachs-killing them in the process. "Over time, drug organizations' unquenchable thirst for profit leads them to do unthinkable crimes like using innocent puppies for drug concealment, or nowadays pushing lethal amounts of fentanyl onto our streets". Authorities believe he may have been in the country for as long as eight years. He was arrested a month later.

"Over time, drug organizations' unquenchable thirst for profit leads them to do unthinkable crimes like using innocent puppies for drug concealment", James J. Hunt, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's NY office, said in a statement.

The seven surviving dogs that were discovered by officials were adopted by other owners in Colombia.

Three of the rescue dogs later died of infections.

Several of the canine couriers were saved and one - a Rottweiler named Heroina - became a narcotics dog, according to the DEA.

If convicted on conspiracy charges, he risks spending at least 10 years and potentially life behind bars.

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