A Brooklyn federal court in the United States heard details on Tuesday (US local time) of a drug trafficking group that used puppies to transport packets of liquid heroin.
The traffickers cut open the puppies and implanted the heroin packets into their bellies, the court heard. The puppies were reportedly left to die once they had reached their destination.
The drugs were thought to be destined for New York City, Yahoo reported.
One of the members allegedly involved in the drug trafficking ring was veterinarian Andres Lopez Elorza (also known as Lopez Elorez), who became a fugitive in 2005 after authorities clamped down on more than two dozen alleged traffickers in Colombia.
Assistant US Attorney Richard Donoghue said dogs were "man's best friend" and warned "we are drug dealers' worst enemy".
Heroin is one of the most-trafficked drugs in the United States, alongside methamphetamine, powdered cocaine, marijuana, crack cocaine and oxycodone. Humans are often used to traffic drugs by swallowing drug-filled packages made from latex gloves, balloons or condoms.
Drug trafficking by New Zealanders who use the dark web is booming, and illegal seizures at the border show no sign of slowing down.
- Drug trafficking by Kiwis using dark web is booming - report
- Kiwis buying drugs on dark web warned - it's not worth the risk
A police drug intelligence report said seizures at the international mail centre in New Zealand had more than doubled in the past five years. The top three items bought by Kiwis online were cannabis seeds, MDMA and prescription medications.