Dallas police have arrested a Honduran man who they believe posed as a dentist and extracted five teeth from a woman during a house call.
Mario Sabillon-Mejia is accused of telling Erika Martinez he was a dentist from Honduras before agreeing to pull her teeth for $1,500, KDFW News reports.
Lt. Tony Crawford, who is heading up the investigation into the incident, said during a recent news conference that Sabillon-Mejia isn’t licensed to practice medicine.
“We think he was just getting his experience by practicing on people,” Crawford said, according to WFAA News.
Police arrested Sabillon-Mejia, 33, on June 24 along with 41-year-old Tiffany Gonzalez, who is believed to have posed as the man’s assistant and secretary.
Martinez told The Dallas Morning News that she initially contacted Sabillon-Mejia because she doesn’t have dental insurance and is in the country illegally.
She said she posted an inquiry on Facebook, asking if anyone knew of a place to get dental work done. That’s when someone told her Sabillon-Mejia could possibly help her.
“She tell me he's nice,” Martinez told WFAA of the advice from the unidentified person. “He's professional.”
Police said Gonzalez and Sabillon-Mejia met Martinez at her home on May 18 and quoted her $1,500 to cover the cost of exams, medicine and the extraction of five teeth.
They reportedly returned on May 25 and Martinez said she gave Gonzalez $500 as an initial payment.
After injecting with her with an unknown pain medication, they allegedly began pulling Martinez’s teeth, using the woman’s couch as a dental chair.
The painful procedure took more than hour, Martinez told The Morning News.
“The truth is, it felt like it lasted years,” she said in Spanish while talking with the paper. “It was horrible pain. Very traumatic.”
Martinez said at one point the pain was so bad she asked the two to stop the procedure, but they insisted they had to keep going. She said they cleaned their tools in her bathroom sink and carried them around in an unsanitary bag.
She told WFAA that after the procedure the pain and bleeding were so bad she eventually decided to seek help at a hospital.
"I have a lot of pain and a lot of infection," she said.
"The victim is going to require extensive dental treatment to heal from her injuries," Crawford said.
It will reportedly cost around $9,000 to fix the damage caused by the fake dentist's procedure.
"Obviously, anytime you practice medicine without license and you don't know what you're doing, you're going to cause people irreparable harm or even death,” Crawford added.
Police say they found Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez in possession of a number of dental tools along with vials of carbocaine and lidocaine, which, according to police, are common dental anesthetics.
Crawford also said a ledger, found with the two when they were arrested, suggested they may have treated as many as 50 other people.
The two were booked into the Dallas County Jail. They both face felony charges of practicing medicine without a license as well as misdemeanor counts of possessing dangerous drugs.
Sabillon-Mejia, who is reportedly living in the country illegally, was last reported being held on $105,000 bail. Gonzalez posted $3,500 bail on June 25 and was released, reports The Morning News.
Police are now seeking more victims in this case, and encourage anyone who has encounter the pair to call 214-671-3517.
Photo Credit: Dallas Police via WFAA News