MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida man and woman are under arrest on charges of practicing dentistry without a license but their fake practice was not located in a medical office, or even a garage, it was on a bus.
A bright red bus with a cartoon child on the side, promoting what appears to be a website called Matthew’s Show and an Instagram account, neither of which appear to be real accounts.
According to Miami-Dade Police Medical Crimes Unit investigators, Daniela Sulbaran Gonzalez, 37, and Victor Bernal, 44, of Miami, were providing dental services inside a bus located in a parking lot at 6001 NW 74th Avenue in West Miami-Dade.
After several months of investigation, undercover operatives from the Florida Department of Health and the MDPD Medical Crime Unit, posed as patients on Nov. 15.
Bernal and Sulbaran diagnosed and offered treatment to the undercover detectives. At that point, both individuals were taken into custody without incident and charged for the unlicensed activity, according to police.
Neither has ever been licensed in Florida.
Bernal is also charged with drug possession with the intent to sell, dispense, or deliver drugs without a prescription.
Joseph Hunton is stunned that these two were arrested for allegedly performing illegal dental work inside his red bus.
Hunton says they kept that vehicle parked at the business he manages: Davco Propane at Northwest 74th Avenue and 60th Street.
“It was surprising. I had no idea what was going on, no idea that drugs were being sold,” Hunton said.
Hunton said before Bernal and Sulbaran Gonzalez were busted, he never saw any customers at his business using the bus, which was originally blue and was painted red.
“He would come here and take his bus and leave and come back with the bus. Unbenowst to us, I really had no idea what was going on,” said Hunton.
“They said they would pick up people to go on the bus and we have a code system and cameras here and obviously if there were a line or people we would notice.”
Hunton says he thought Bernal and Sulbaran Gonzalez were using this blue bus for more noble pursuits.
“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,” Hunton said.
Police said they were alarmed because of the dangers people face being treated by unlicensed professionals dispensing drugs.
“This is a public safety concern. These individuals were performing unlicensed medical practices,” said Miami-Dade detective Chris Thomas.
“These individuals were not licensed. We don’t know if the equipment was sterilized. We don’t know where they learned their practices,” added Thomas.
Investigators confiscated a bag of prescription drugs on the bus, which included lidocaine, mepivacaine, ibuprofen 600 and other dental products.
Each bonded out Wednesday, Bernal after posting $10,000 bond and SulbaranGonzalez after posting $5,000 bond.
Thomas has advice for those seeking medical help, “Look around. See if they have certificates. Go online and find out about the person through the Florida Department of Health. See if they have a license.”
Investigators believe there may be victims who have not yet come forward.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (305)471-TIPS (8477) or (866) 471-8477. You can also visit https://www.crimestoppersmiami.com/and select “Give a Tip” or send a text message to 274637, enter CSMD followed by the tip information and press send.