A Florida pair used a bright red bus with a cartoon child on the side as the home for their illegal dental office, police say.
Daniela Sulbaran, 37, and Victor Bernal, 44, were busted earlier this month after undercover cops busted the alleged illicit business when they posed as new patients that needed a dental check-up, Miami-Dade Police revealed Thursday.
The alleged dental duo was charged with practicing health care without a license and Bernal got an additional charge of prescription possession with intent to sell or deliver. The pair were not licensed as dentists in the state of Florida.
According to the arrest report, undercover detectives with the Florida Department of Health and Miami-Dade police made a Nov. 15 appointment for a dental cleaning and tooth extraction, the Miami Herald reported.
When they arrived at Davco Storage & Propane – where the bus was parked – Bernal reportedly met them at the gate and then drove them to the bus
Once on the bus, he directed one of the undercover agents to sit in the dental chair inside.
“Once you’re there, and you’re in that chair, and you don’t know what hands you’ve landed, it could cost you your life,” Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told WSVN. “Within those walls, those red walls or the red wrapping of that bus, was a fully operational dentistry.”
Once inside, Sulbaran reportedly put a dental bib on the seated agent, before putting on a face mask and surgical latex gloves. After she diagnosed and offered a service to the undercover agent, she and Bernal were arrested, police said.
“These types of incidents are something that the community needs to take seriously,” Zabaleta said.
The property manager at Davco Storage & Propane told CBSMiami he had no idea the bus parked there was the home of an alleged criminal dentistry business.
“It was surprising. I had no idea what was going on, no idea that drugs were being sold,” Joseph Hunton said. “My understanding about what they were doing is taking the bus to fundraisers, to schools, to blood drives. I thought they were doing something like that.”
On the bus, police also confiscated a bag of prescription drugs including lidocaine, mepivacaine, ibuprofen 600 and other dental products.
Zabaleta said he hopes this incident serves as a lesson for people to do their homework when seeking medical care.
“Make sure they have insurance, look for permits of the county, all of these little things that you need to do,” Zabaleta said.