When the economy tanked, student haircuts and generic-brand sodas stopped sounding so bad. Sometimes you have to get crafty to keep yourself from going broke. But leave it to South Florida to take it one step further.
Miami-Dade cops recently arrested Juan David Acosta - a Colombian-born 37-year-old with shoulder-length locks - at his lakeside home near the Kendall airport. His alleged crime: offering budget, back-alley butt implants. According to police reports, Acosta told investigators he has about three clients per week and charges $800 a pop.(Roughly one tenth of what it costs from legit surgeons.)
He's not the only one. Florida Department of Health (DOH) has their hands full with phony doctors. From January to March 2009 -- the last available numbers -- officers made more arrests for practicing medicine without a license than they did in the entire year of 2003. Of the total cases throughout the state, just under 70 percent of arrests were made in Miami-Dade or Broward county.
Acosta's case began when investigators got a tip from an anonymous source back in February. Cops then snooped through his garbage bags on three different occasions. What they found: Bloody gauzes, used syringes, medical chemicals, and bio-material (Used create fake butt cheeks). So at 12:30 p.m. this past April 14, police knocked on the door of Acosta's $313, 600 home. He invited them in and "stated that he does in fact perform [the surgery] from his house." Acosta explained that he's also a pro at liposuction and that his clients are generally "white Hispanic females."
Reached by phone, Acosta -- who speaks Spanish -- declined to comment Tuesday.
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DOH spokesperson Eulinda Smith, however, had a lot to say. "We see this quite a bit in Southern Florida...People realize after the fact that it's very dangerous."