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.
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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