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Spanish police arrest veterinarian wanted in U.S. for smuggling drugs inside puppies

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22:  A view of puppies at the 2013 Animal League America Celebrity gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on November 22, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: A view of puppies at the 2013 Animal League America Celebrity gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on November 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)  (2013 Getty Images)

Spanish police have arrested a Venezuelan veterinarian wanted by the U.S. for allegedly trafficking heroin by implanting it in puppies.

A Civil Guard spokeswoman on Tuesday said 33-year-old Andrés López Elorza was arrested Saturday in the northwestern town of Santa Comba where he had been hiding after the National Court authorized his extradition last month. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with police regulations.

Police said Colombian authorities discovered 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of heroin implanted in three puppies during a 2005 raid on a clinic the vet ran in Medellín. The statement said the vet was a member of drug-trafficking gang that used dogs to send liquid heroin from Colombia to the United States.

López was arrested in Spain in 2013 but released while his extradition was being considered.

The spokeswoman said López had been living in Spain for eight years and was married with two children. She said he had been working as a vet for two companies, his employers spoke highly of him and he had no record of drug-trafficking in Spain.

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