His arrest was part of a 12-year Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into a drug smuggling ring and he was remanded into custody, pending trial, United States officials said.
"Elores 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", said United States Attorney Donoghue Tuesday in a press release. "Dogs are mans' best friend and, as the defendant is about to learn, we are drug dealers' worst enemy".
Officials believe the animals were then put on commercial flights to NY, where the drugs would be cut out of them.
Ten puppies were discovered in a raid on a makeshift clinic in Colombia in 2005. It was then that police reportedly located 6.6 pounds of heroin smuggled in three puppies.
The drugs were thought to be destined for New York City, Yahoo reported.
"Throughout my 25-year career, this is one of the most outrageous methods of smuggling that I personally have encountered", John P. Gilbride, the special agent in charge of the DEA's New York Field Division, told the New York Times in 2006. They were all sentenced between 2007 and 2009.
Elorez was held without bail.
A Venezuelan veterinarian was arraigned on charges related to heroin import and distribution in a federal court in Brooklyn this afternoon. He faces a minimum of 10 years, and up to lifetime, in prison. His lawyer refused to comment on Tuesday.