Published: Thu, May 03, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Venezuelan Veterinarian Faces Federal Charges After Smuggling Liquid Heroin In Puppies' Bellies

Venezuelan Veterinarian Faces Federal Charges After Smuggling Liquid Heroin In Puppies' Bellies

The US Drug Enforcement Administration said on Tuesday that Andres Lopez Elorza was awaiting a court appearance in Brooklyn.

A VET has denied stitching packets of liquid heroin into puppies smuggled into the US. When the dogs arrived in the United States the packages were surgically removed.

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

Andres Lopez Elorez was charged after allegedly hiding heroin in the dogs' bellies traveling on commercial flights to NY.

Officials said the packets were then cut out of the puppies, who died in the process from infections caused by the incisions. Ten puppies were rescued from a farm in Medellín, Colombia before they could be sent to the United States, but with heroin already implanted inside of them.

His court-appointed lawyer, Mitchell Dinnerstein, said his client "doesn't have any real connection" to the United States, The New York Times reported.

"Elorez is not only a drug trafficker, he also betrayed a veterinarian's pledge to prevent animal suffering when he used his surgical skills in a cruel scheme to smuggle heroin in the abdomens of puppies", United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said.

Donna, a basset hound, is one of the dogs that was saved by a National Police of Colombia (CNP) officer and his family.

Elorez's public defender on Tuesday said he has "psychiatric issues", including depression, and "kidney problems". "I think a lot of it is stress related". He was ordered held without bail. "Dogs are man's best friend and, as the defendant is about to learn, we are drug dealers' worst enemy".

USA officials say Elorez was part of a Colombian-based conspiracy from September 2004 to January 2005 that smuggled heroin into the United States using various methods to hide the narcotics from detection.

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