Andres Lopez Elorez faces US court for implanting pups with heroin after being expelled from Spain
A veterinarian is accused of implanting liquid heroin in puppies to turn them into drug mules for a Colombian trafficking ring.
Colombian-born Andres Lopez Elorez appeared in a US federal courtroom in Brooklyn on Tuesday after being extradited from Spain, where he was arrested in 2015.
Lopez Elorez, 38, who also goes by the surname Lopez Elorza, fled in 2005 when approvals arrested about two dozen believed traffickers in Colombia.
His arrest was part of a 12 -year Drug Enforcement Administration investigation. If convicted on conspiracy accusations, he gambles spending at least 10 years and potentially life behind bars.
Authorities allege that between September 2004 and January 2005 Elorez was a member of a Colombian ring smuggling heroin into the US utilizing many techniques, including human and dog couriers.
It is believed the dogs were communicated on commercial-grade flights to New York, where the stimulants were cut out of them. Investigates belief the puppies would have died in the process, but it was unknown how many were involved.
” As alleged in the indictment, Elorez is not only a drug trafficker, he likewise betrayed a veterinarian’s pledge to prevent animal woe where reference is applied his surgical knowledge in a atrociou scheme to smuggle heroin in the abdomens of puppies ,” US lawyer Richard Donoghue said.” Puppies are man’s most special friend and, as the defendant is about to learn, we are drug dealers’ worst adversary .”
Ten puppies search for and during a 2005 attacked on a farm in Colombia, DEA officials said. Five culminated up running away, three died from infection and two were adopted, including information that became a drug-sniffing dog for Colombian police, officials said.
” Over experience, medication organisations’ unquenchable thirst for profit makes them to do impossible crimes like employing innocent puppies for drug hiding ,” the chief of the DEA’s New York discord, James Hunt, said.
Associated Press and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report .
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