A Colombian ex-veterinarian was sentenced Thursday to 72 months in prison for his role in a gruesome heroin trafficking scheme that included surgically implanting the drug in the stomachs of puppies before bringing them across the border. Andres Lopez Elorez, 39, and his co-conspirators smuggled at least one kilogram of heroin to the U.S. between Sept. 2004 and Jan. 2005, according to a press release from the Eastern District of New York Attorney’s Office. The men filled small packages with liquid heroin and surgically implanted them in the dogs in Colombia, and removed them once the dogs had entered the U.S., Courthouse News reports. Three animals died in the process. Elorez pleaded guilty to conspiring to import heroin on Sept. 28, 2018.