NEW YORK — Two men were busted attempting to smuggle $1 million worth of heroin stashed in the bottom of a carrier for a dog that had flown to New York on a flight from Puerto Rico.
Prosecutors say the dog, a cream-colored shepherd, arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday with 10 kilos of drugs tucked into a hidden compartment beneath its feet. The dog was not harmed.
“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 the dog crate,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Cops later arrested Samuel Seabrook, 35, of the Bronx, and Carlos Betancourt-Morales, 27, of Carmel, N.Y. when they came to pick the dog up. Both men met at a nearby IHOP before heading to the American Airlines cargo pickup center where Betancourt-Morales signed for the dog. The pair were arrested as he wheeled the 86-pound crate out of the building to his car.
When cops opened the hidden compartment at the bottom of the crate, they recovered 10 brick-shaped packages, covered in plastic with Nike swoosh logos and five-pointed stars emblazoned on them.
Both men were charged with possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy and were held on $500,000 bond. They both face 20 years in prison if convicted.
The dog was put into the custody of the ASPCA.