What’s with all the shoddy silicone being shot into people’s butts?
Two women who ran a Miami spa have been charged with using smuggled liquid silicone from Colombia for injections to augment hundreds of their customers' buttocks.
Maribel Jimenez, 48, and Magaly Del Rosario, 47, who operated Bella Beauty Spa until its closing at the end of 2015, were arrested Tuesday on charges of using “adulterated and misbranded” silicone as well similarly altered prescription drugs, including Lidocaine and Botox.
Jimenez, who owned the spa once located at 8360 W. Flagler St., has an arraignment and bond hearing on Friday. Del Rosario, a spa manager, pleaded not guilty and was granted a $100,000 bond Tuesday in Miami federal court.
Butt enhancements, for pumping up and rounding out the rear, are big business in South Florida — in clinics both legal and illegal. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved liquid silicone for buttocks enhancements.
According to a 20-count indictment, Jimenez and her assistant, Del Rosario, administered deep-tissue buttocks injections of silicone that was smuggled into the United States in 170 separate DHL air carrier shipments from 2008 to 2015. To avoid detection by Customs and Border Protection officers, each bottle contained false labels stating in Spanish that the contents consisted of “depilatory wax” and instructions on how to apply the “purported” rosin-based substance to remove hair.
After their injections, numerous Bella Beauty Spa customers complained that they experienced adverse health-related symptoms, according to the indictment filed by prosecutor Peter Outerbridge. Both defendants did not tell the clients that silicone was injected into their bodies or that there were potential health consequences.
U.S. Attoney Wifredo Ferrer said South Florida investigators “are committed to disrupting illicit operations that hold themselves out to be legitimate medical facilities while endangering lives for profit.”
“Serious harm, including death, can occur when individuals have liquid silicone or other substances injected into their buttocks to increase their size,” said Justin Green, special agent in charge of FDA criminal investigations in Miami.
Consider the 2013 case of Suyima Torres, a 28-year-old mother of two. She died after she was illegally injected in the buttocks with liquid silicone at a sham cosmetic-surgery clinic in Miami.
Police arrested Venezuelan Jose Robusto in May 2016 after two years on the lam in his homeland. He was charged by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office with manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license.
Also in 2013, popular Miami Spanish-language radio personality Betty Pino died of complications from a procedure to remove silicone from her buttocks.
Former clients of Bella Beauty Spa who have undergone buttocks injection procedures, regardless of how far in the past, are urged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org in order to address individual concerns and receive information about their status and rights as potential victims.