A veterinarian accused of implanting liquid heroin in puppies for a Colombian drug trafficking ring has pleaded not guilty to U.S. charges.
Andres Lopez extradited to the U.S. on Monday.
U.S. authorities say Lopez stitched packets of heroin into the bellies of Labrador retrievers and other breeds sent on commercial flights to New York City. They say the packets were then cut out of the puppies, who died in the process.
“As alleged in the indictment, 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. “Dogs are mans’ best friend and, as the defendant is about to learn, we are drug dealers’ worst enemy.”