Contact: DOH Communications
Ashley Carr, (850) 245-4111
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PARTNERS; ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST ORDER
~Collaboration with Hialeah Police leads to arrest and citation for unlicensed practice of medicine~
TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Health (DOH) today announced that a joint investigation with the Hialeah Police Department resulted in the arrest of Pedro and Samela Hernandez for the unlicensed practice of medicine, a felony in the state of Florida. The arrest affidavit alleges that Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez were engaged in the unlicensed practice of medicine in their Hialeah home. DOH has issued a cease and desist order, along with a citation for the unlicensed practice of medicine.
“We do not tolerate the unlicensed practice of medicine in Florida,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “The unethical behavior displayed by these individuals shows a blatant disregard for health and safety. The Department will continue to work vigorously with law enforcement partners to prevent scam artists from inflicting harm on the people of Florida.”
During the course of the past two years, Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez have administered injections of a foreign solution into victims for the purpose of enhancing size and shape of their buttocks, and at least one victim sustained permanent deformities as a result of the procedures. The couple also arranged for the illegal solution to be bottled and shipped in indiscriminate packaging, falsely labeled as a massage wax, into the United States from Colombia.
During the execution of a search warrant of the defendants’ home, a ledger was found containing victim names, procedures performed, and charges assessed for services dating back to 2008. Labeled bottles were also found, along with syringes, both new and used, blank prescription forms, forged prescriptions, and large amounts of Lidocaine, a controlled substance, Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez were arrested on felony charges of the unlicensed practice of a health care profession, possession of blank prescription forms, attempting to obtain controlled substances by fraud/forgery, and possession of legend drug with intent to dispense.
The Florida Department of Health’s Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) is committed to ensuring that only Florida licensed health care practitioners who place the health and safety of patients first and foremost are performing any health care services.
The Department of Health urges consumers to verify the license status of all health care providers before seeking medical treatment. Please visit http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/mqaservices/flhealth_index.asp to confirm that a health care practitioner is actively licensed in Florida and view applicable disciplinary history. Any individual may report suspected unlicensed activity to the Department at 1-877-425-8852 or visit www.FLHealthSource.com.
DOH works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.
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