• Dogs used as drug mules to smuggle heroin into U.S., vet sentenced for implanting drugs into puppies

    By: Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    A veterinarian who was extradited to the United States has been sentenced to six years in prison for implanting liquid heroin into puppies to get the drugs into the country.

    Andres Lopez Elorez pleaded guilty in September to conspiring to import heroin into the U.S., The Associated Press reported.

    Federal officials said Elorez leased a farm in Medellin, Colombia, where he raised the dogs to smuggle drugs for drug cartels.

    Law enforcement searched the farm in 2005 and seized 17 bags of liquid heroin, 10 of which were removed from puppies, the AP reported.

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    FILE - This 2005 photo provided by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials shows puppies rescued from a farm in Colombia destined for use by a U.S. veterinarian working for a Colombian drug trafficking ring.
    U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration via

    The amount of drugs found totaled almost three kilograms, The New York Times reported.

    Elorez was arrested in Spain in 2015 after being listed as a fugitive. He was extradited to the U.S. in May 2018.

    Three dogs died after getting a post-surgical virus, according to the AP.

    Two of the dogs confiscated by law enforcement went on to better lives.

    A beagle was adopted by a Colombian police officer’s family. A rottweiler was trained by the country’s police as a drug detection dog, the AP reported.

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