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Smugglers use dog as drug mule to ship heroin

By Mason White 4:48 PM April 4, 2017
Dog used as drug mule
Dog used as drug mule
By: Emily Lewis

Police were shocked to find a large shipment of drugs hidden inside a dog crate that contained a live dog, according to police in New York.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that two men from the Bronx and Putnam Counties have been charged with drug possession and conspiracy after 22 pounds of heroin were found hidden in the false bottom of a dog crate, containing a cream-colored Shepherd-type dog that had been shipped from Puerto Rico to New York.

The drugs have an alleged estimated street value in excess of $1 million.

The 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, Brown said.

The defendants have conspired to sell the drugs in New York City and elsewhere. If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison.

Samuel Seabrooks, 35, of the Bronx, and Carlos Betancourt-Morales, 27, of Carmel, were charged with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.

Bail was set at $500,000 for each defendant.

According to the police investigation, Seabrooks and Betancourt-Morales met up at a Bronx IHOP restaurant at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Friday, and then traveled in separate vehicles to American Airlines Priority Parcel Services at JFK Airport.

They arrived at approximately 7:00 p.m. Betancourt-Morales exited his vehicle and approached Seabrook’s vehicle, and the two men had a brief conversation.

A short time later, Betancourt-Morales allegedly entered the cargo building and signed an American Airlines cargo air waybill delivery receipt that gave him authorization to accept a crate containing a mixed-breed Shepherd-type dog, and which had a weight of approximately 86 pounds.

Betancourt-Morales was stopped by police as he was pushing the crate on a rolling cart toward the building’s exit. Police recovered ten packages containing heroin from within the dog crate.

Each of the packages was in brick form, packaged in dark and clear plastic wrap, and was three to four inches in width and six to eight inches in length.

The packages contained stamps with the Nike Swoosh and a five pointed star.