When Miami women who got buttocks enhancements overseas needed a “touch up” closer to home, they turned to Samela and Pedro Hernandez.
Problem is, neither is a licensed doctor. And they worked out of the living room of their Hialeah home.
The couple pleaded guilty Thursday to practicing health care without a license after one client —an exotic dancer — became permanently disfigured from their illegal injections.
Samela Hernandez, 55, and Pedro Hernandez, 59, won’t go to prison. Instead, they must serve two years confined to their homes except to go to work. They’ll also pay restitution to the victim.
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“Of the hundreds of patients, only one person came forward to complain,” said their lawyer, Robert Perez. “Everyone else was satisfied with their posteriors.”
Samela Hernandez had worked in the thriving buttocks implant market in Colombia, her lawyer said. Authorities said she used a silicon-based solution that, while legal in her home country, is banned in the United States.
The couple was arrested in late 2012. Hialeah detectives seized a slew of medical equipment including syringes and Lidocaine, plus a list of clients and procedures. Two more victims were at the house at the time. They told police they had undergone procedures for months; one said she believed Hernandez was a nurse.
The exotic dancer told police that after the first injection, she returned to the Hernandez house and they administered “more solution into the void area of her buttocks to ‘fill in’ the gaps between the welts.”
South Florida has become a hub for illegal cosmetic surgery cases.
In Broward County, a transgender woman named Oneal Ron Morris is accused of injecting a toxic brew into the rear ends of men and women looking for curvier figures, killing one woman.
That case has drawn worldwide headlines. Morris is facing seven cases in Broward – including a manslaughter charge – and has also served jail time on similar charges in Miami.
Investigators say Morris injected a concoction of Fix-a-Flat tire sealant, cement, silicone, mineral oil, and super glue to customers who could not afford plastic surgery. She denies the claim.