(ABC NEWS)- A Colombian veterinarian is accused of implanting heroin in puppies to smuggle drugs into the United States.
Andres Lopez Elorza, 38, was arrested in Spain for acts he allegedly committed 12 years ago. He was extradited to the U.S., where he appeared in court Tuesday before a federal judge in Brooklyn. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered detained.
Elorza, who also goes by Elorez, is accused of conspiring to smuggle heroin into the country by surgically implanting packets of liquid heroin into the bellies of puppies, who were then used as animal couriers, prosecutors said.
When the dogs arrived in the United States from Colombia, the heroin was surgically removed from their bodies, prosecutors said.
If convicted, Elorza faces up to life in prison.