LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two New Jersey men have been arrested on charges that they illegally practiced dentistry.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Wednesday night, prosecutors said they bought equipment, saw patients, and raked in tens of thousands of dollars.
At a duplex in Linden and at an apartment building two miles away, Jorge Renteria Paz, 46, and Hector Carro, 73, are accused of practicing dentistry without licenses – and seeing dozens of patients.
“There was a lot of equipment within the residences and the locations that were searched yesterday,” said Union County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Barnes.
Barnes said investigators found a handheld X-ray machine, dental tools, and sterilization equipment. But one unfortunate patient allegedly learned hygiene was less than ideal.
“Throughout her treatment, she did suffer some injuries and some infection as a result of her treatment — partly because of unsanitary conditions,” said Prosecutor’s Office Detective Rudy Correia.
But it was lucrative. Investigators found $20,000 cash when they raided the locations.
There was no answer Wednesday night at Carro’s apartment on West Elizabeth Avenue in Union, or at Renteria-Paz’s on Chandler Avenue in Union.
But a neighbor said he understood why people with no insurance and little money may be tempted.
“Maybe, you know, they pay less or something like that,” said Ronald Chavez of Linden. “I don’t know to be honest.”
Prosecutors said there is a chance the men had some formal training in their native El Salvador. But unlicensed dentistry in New Jersey is a crime that carries a prison term of up to five years.