A Honduran man and an accomplice are facing felony charges after police say they passed themselves off as a dentist and a dental assistant and charged a woman $1,500 to pull five teeth from her mouth during a procedure in her home, Dallas police say.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Erika Martinez had no dental insurance and was suffering from toothaches when a friend on Facebook referred her to Mario Sabillon-Mejia, a man she was told was a dentist from Honduras who would be able to help her.
Sabillon-Mejia, 33, and woman claiming to be his dental assistant, identified by police as 41-year-old Tiffany Gonzalez, met Martinez at her home for a consultation on May 18 where he agreed to treat her for $1,500.
On May 25, Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez returned to Martinez's home and she paid him $500 of the $1,500 fee, according to the affidavit.
Sabillon-Mejia asked Martinez to lie down on her couch where he began the procedure by injecting an unknown medicine into her gums, the affidavit said. Sabillon-Mejia then proceeded to remove the woman's teeth. Martinez said she complained of pain, but was then forcibly held down on her couch as he pulled four more teeth from her mouth.
Martinez said after the procedure Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez then cleaned his instruments in her bathroom.
On June 3, Sabillon-Mejia gave Martinez a tooth mold and was paid an another $500, according to the affidavit.
After suffering from a severe infection since the procedure, the woman filed a report with the Dallas Police Department who initiated an investigation on June 4. Martinez's mother, who was present when the procedure was done, is considered a police witness in the investigation.
"Anytime you practice medicine without a license, not knowing what you're doing, you're going to cause people irreparable harm, even death," said Lt. Tony Crawford, with the Financial Crimes Unit of the Dallas Police Department.
On June 8, Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez were identified by Martinez in a Dallas police lineup. On June 24 they were both arrested and charged with felony practicing medicine without a license and misdemeanor possession of dangerous drugs. Police said Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez also had several alias warrants.
Police said several instruments and equipment commonly used by dentists to treat patients and to fabricate dentures were seized after Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez were arrested.
Crawford said as many as 50 people in North Texas may have been treated by Sabillon-Mejia and Gonzalez and that they believe he had also treated an unknown number of people in Houston.
Police would like to speak with anyone who may have had any dental work done by the pair and ask them to call Sgt. Richard Santiesteban at 214-671-3517.