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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
A Tucson man is in jail, being held without bond, after Pima County sheriff's officials said he performed liposuction out of his home without a medical license.
Chief Deputy Chris Nanos said on June 28th they got a report of suspicious activity taking place at a home in the 8600 block of North Bobby Jones Drive. Deputies learned that 51-year old Gustavo Nunez had been performing lipo and botox procedures out of his home without a license.
Detectives said they had at least two victims they had spoken to, and several others they were talking to. At least one of them had been hospitalized.
Tucson News Now spoke to Detective Kenneth Kimpel who said, they served a search warrant at Nunez's home, and confiscated medical equipment that allowed him to perform the procedures.
"We don't recommend you go to personal residences to get this kind of medical procedure done," said Kimpel.
Tucson News Now has learned Nunez faced similar charges after the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) launched an investigation against him in 2013.
According to the Interim Complaint filed on August 1, 2013 by a DEA agent, two victims reported they had liposuction procedures done in an industrial building located on N. 15th Avenue, near Speedway Boulevard. Both stated the procedure was done by Gustavo Nunez. Court documents state three other women were present in the warehouse to assist Nunez. DEA agents said both victims had complications which resulted in hospital stays. The interim complaint goes on to state that DEA agents served a search warrant in the warehouse and found dangerous drugs like Diazepam, Alprazalam and equipment used for liposuction, Lidocaine, and needles. Officials said neither Nunez nor his accomplices were medical doctors.
Nunez was charged with illegally conducting an enterprise, aggravated assault, practicing without a licence, and possession of a dangerous drug for sale.
In court documents one woman stated, she went to Nunez to get liposuction on her torso and wanted the fat transferred to her breasts. The victim stated that she met Nunez at a local spa, Laser 1 where he had worked. When she mentioned she wanted surgery, he gave her the address to the warehouse. When she showed up, he was there with three women. The victim told police Nunez gave her two pills, "a blue one and a white one", he then injected something into her belly button. The woman said the pills had no effect. Court documents indicate, the woman told police that she "felt every poke and jab of the needle." She was crying, and they had to stop the surgery several times.
A few days after the surgery, the woman stated she called Nunez to tell him she still had a fever and her breasts were hurting. Court documents stated that Tucson Police got a call from the Tucson Medical Center, saying they had a patient with a massive infection in her breast.
Court documents state the woman paid Nunez $4,000 for the surgery.
Court documents state a second victim went to Nunez and paid him $1,600 to remove fat from her "love handles" and inject it into her butt. She too had a fever and contacted Nunez after the surgery, saying she wanted to go to the emergency room. Court documents state Nunez told her to tell the doctor that she had the lipo done in Mexico, so that he wouldn't get in trouble.
Court documents state a third victim came forward to have fat removed from her torso, legs, and to get filler in her lips. She told police she stayed at a local motel after the procedure. She bled so much, the hotel billed her for ruining their mattress.
Tucson News Now contacted plastic surgeon Dr. Arun Rao, who has performed more than a hundred lipsuction procedures in the last two years. Rao has nine years of surgical training.
"Anytime surgery is involved there is always a threat of complications and risk, including infection, bleeding, poor cosmetic outcome, and potential complications with anesthesia. That's why we typically do it in a hospital or a surgery center that is accredited by various governing bodies," said Dr. Rao.
He advised those wanting to get plastic surgery to thoroughly research their surgeons.
"When patients are investigating who they want to have their plastic surgery done by, it's important they go to someone with training and experience."
Rao said he found this case very distressing and concerning, as the suspect involved had no medical training or license.
"When done in a proper environment by a trained surgeon, plastic surgery can be great and have good outcomes," said Rao.
Pima County sheriff's officials want to talk to victims who have had procedures done by Nunez. Officials also want to remind you to get medical procedures done by a medical professional, in a medical facility.
Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.
Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
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