Veterinarian Turned Puppies Into Drug Mules With Gruesome Surgery, Prosecutors Say

Veterinarian Turned Puppies Into Drug Mules With Gruesome Surgery, Prosecutors Say

Andrés López Elorza, 38, who was born in Colombia, pleaded not guilty at a federal court in NY.

Andres Lopez Elorez is accused of helping smuggle heroin into the United States by surgically implanting it into puppies.

Authorities said the gang had plans to pretend the puppies were show dogs to get them past customs inspectors in America.

Andres Lopez Elorza, 38, is now in custory in NY accused of implanting the drug for a Colombian trafficking ring.

In a statement, Richard Donoghue a USA attorney for the Eastern District of NY said "dogs are man's best friend and, as the defendant is about to learn, we are drug dealers' worst enemy".

After Spain's National Court authorised his extradition, he was transferred to the United States this week, where he will be tried for conspiring to import and distribute heroin into the US.

The traffickers cut open the puppies and implanted the heroin packets into their bellies, the court heard. Prosecutors say between September 2004 and January 2005, Elorza was a member of a Colombian conspiracy that used pups and humans as couriers.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said: "Dogs are man's best friend and, as the defendant is about to learn, we are drug dealers' worst enemy". Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of NY said. Three died from infection and one became a drug-sniffing dog for Colombian police. He was ordered held without bail.

Elorez's public defender on Tuesday said he has "psychiatric issues", including depression, and "kidney problems". "I think a lot of this is stress-related", Mitchell Dinnerstein said.

As a result of his detestable crimes, prosecutors state that Elorza faces up to life in prison if convicted of the federal charges placed against him, including conspiring to import and distribute narcotics among others.

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