Veterinarian Sentenced to 6 Years for Smuggling Heroin in Live Puppies

  • A veterinarian who smuggled heroin into the U.S. inside live puppies has been sentenced to six years in prison.
  • The sentence was handed down Wednesday by a New York judge, who also ordered 39-year-old Andres Lopez Elorez to be deported back to Colombia after his time is served.
  • “Every dog has its day,” prosecutor Richard P. Donoghue says. “Elorez has been held responsible for the reprehensible use of his veterinary skills to conceal heroin inside puppies as part of a scheme to import dangerous narcotics into the United States.”
  • Prosecutors say Elorez began the drug smuggling operation in 2004 on a farm in Medellin. There, he’d surgically implant bags of heroin in the bodies of puppies, which were then exported to the U.S. Although authorities raided the farm a year later, Elorez eluded capture and remained on the run until 2015, when he was arrested in Spain. It took three years to extradite him to the U.S.
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