Jail Time for Veterinarian Who Smuggled Heroin in Puppies

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Jail Time for Veterinarian Who Smuggled Heroin in Puppies

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Veterinary Student Andres Lopez Elorez was sentenced to six years in prison by a United States federal court last Thursday, February 7, for implanting packets of heroin inside puppies’ stomachs.

The crime happened about 15 years ago. Between September 2004 and January 2005, Elorez surgically implanted bags of liquid heroin into nine puppies he secretly raised for importation into the US on behalf of a drug-trafficking organization.

Pack of These Drug Smuggling Pups via CNN

Once drug runners got their hands on the puppies, the drugs would be taken out surgically, which would mean each puppy would end with two surgeries in this process (one to get the heroin in, one to get it out) and most of the animals died in the process.

During a 2005 raid of Elorez’s clinic in Medillin, Colombia, by the Drug Enforcement Administration, authorities found 6.6 pounds of heroin  (17 bags) surgically implanted in six puppies, officials said. Ten of these bags found were removed from puppies, three of which later died after contracting a virus due to the surgery.

Soon after, Elorez went on the run and remained a fugitive until he was arrested by U.S. marshals in Spain in March of 2015. Last May, he was extradited to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Andres Lopez Elorez via NBC

“I did this even though I knew I was doing wrong and I was committing a crime,” Elorez said during a plea hearing, according to CNN affiliate WABC.

“Every dog has its day, and with today’s sentence Elorez has been held responsible,” US attorney Richard Donoghue said during the sentencing in Brooklyn, New York.
While multiple puppies died all for the purpose of obvious crime, there is still a positive storyline. One of the animals rescued, a Rottweiler named Heroina, grew up to become a drug-sniffing police dog in Colombia. This rite of passage is objectively good, taking back from what she lost as a young one and turning it into her mission statement. While Heriona is just a dog, she is to be looked upon seriously as strong role model for how one can hopefully change their life, no matter how horrible, and own it.