NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Authorities sniffed out an alleged heroin smuggling operation that involved using a dog as a mule.
Samuel Seabrooks and Carlos Betancourt-Morales allegedly received a Labrador in a crate after it was shipped from Puerto Rico.
They picked the dog up Friday at the American Airlines Priority Parcel Services facility at JFK Airport, prosecutors said.
Betancourt-Morales, 27, was stopped by police as he was pushing the crate to the exit of the facility.
A search of the crate turned up 10 packages of heroin with an estimated street value of more than $1 million, prosecutors said.
“It’s alleged that man’s best friend was used in an attempt to smuggle drugs into the city, but great police work led to the seizure of more than 10 kilograms of heroin concealed within a dog crate,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
“This amount of heroin, when distributed at the street level, would jeopardize numerous lives and undoubtedly contribute to other crime,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.
Seabrooks, 35, and Betancourt-Morales face up to 20 years in prison.