LOS ANGELES – Law enforcement authorities have arrested a Monterey Park woman on federal charges of injecting a currently unknown substance – possibly silicone – into a woman’s buttocks during cosmetic procedures that caused so much damage the woman needed a major operation to correct the problem.
Ana Bertha Diaz Hernandez, 47, was taken into custody late yesterday afternoon by special agents with the United States Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations and investigators with the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation, Health Quality Investigation Unit, Operation Safe Medicine Unit (formerly known as the California Medical Board).
The arrest followed the filing yesterday of a criminal complaint charging Diaz with three felony offenses – receipt of an adulterated and misbranded medical device, smuggling, and misbranding prescription drugs.
According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, a victim identified as “I.T.”, filed a complaint with the California Medical Board after seeking treatments from Diaz to enhance her buttocks. I.T. stated that the product Diaz had injected into her buttocks had migrated to her “back, hips and legs,” the affidavit states. I.T. explained that she had to have surgery and was ultimately hospitalized due to the injections administered by Diaz.
During a series of treatments that cost thousands of dollars, Diaz explained to I.T. that she was injecting a “natural product,” at points claiming the injections were “lamb’s fat.”However, after a series of treatments, I.T. began to suffer pain and sought the assistance of a doctor in Colombia who specialized in reversing cosmetic procedures. The victim underwent a major surgery to remove the substance injected into her buttocks, and she will need further medical procedures, according to the affidavit.
According to the complaint, the FDA has never approved the use of silicone for the purpose of body contouring, even when administered by a medical doctor.
“Injections of silicone for body contouring purposes, especially deep tissue injections into the buttocks of the large amounts of silicone that would be required to achieve visible buttocks augmentation and enhancement, present serious risks and dangers,” the affidavit states. “Included among the risks of such injections are the potential of injection into a blood vessel resulting in embolism, migration of injected silicone to other bodily regions and resultant interference with organs and bodily systems, serious sepsis infection and infection-related disorders, silicone-filled scar tissue formations (“granulomas”), necrosis, skin discoloration, immune system hyperactivity and related adverse systemic conditions, disfigurement, discomfort, and pain.”
Diaz is expected to make her first court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court.
A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If she is convicted of the three charges in the complaint, Diaz would face a statutory maximum sentence of 26 years in federal prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph O. Johns, Chief of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda M. Bettinelli of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section.
Component(s): USAO – California, Central
Contact: Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947
Press Release Number: 17-128Updated June 23, 2017
Central District of California DOJ / / June 01, 2017