TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A man and his medical aide have been arrested on suspicion of performing illegal liposuction and breast augmentation procedures that sent patients to the emergency room with infections.
Gustavo Nunez and Ilda Garcia were arrested on August 1 following a three-month investigation into their medical procedures that were practiced without a state medical license or a DEA registration, according to a news release.
"Mr. Nunez was not a doctor; he did not practice medicine," DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman said. "Instead he ran a scheme to victimize Arizonans by performing botched medical procedures and prescribing controlled substances without regard to the well-being of others."
Nunez worked in an industrial Tucson warehouse called NuTec in the 1600 block of N. 5th Avenue, where he reportedly performed liposuction and breast augmentations on at least two females. Both patients were later admitted to Tucson hospitals with complications. A report reveals that Nunez prescribed controlled substances to his patients and one woman was allegedly unconscious for several hours as a result.
"DEA and its partners will stand firm on its commitment to investigate and prosecute these type of illegal medical practices and prevent controlled substances from being diverted into the wrong hands and endangering the health of our citizens," Coleman said.
A search warrant conducted at the clinic led authorities to the seizure of controlled substances like Triazolam, Alprazolam, Valium; refrigerators filled with prescription-only pharmaceuticals; and liposuction needles. Authorities say many needles were full and were marked with patients' names, and some needles were reused, according to the release.
Nunez and Garcia were arrested shortly after the search and were charged with possession of dangerous drugs and practicing medicine without a license.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the DEA Tactical Diversion Squad at (520) 573-5500.