JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A man was arrested after an undercover investigation revealed that he had been performing cosmetic surgeries without a license at a San Jose spa, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Earlier this month, JSO received a tip from another law enforcement agency about one of the most bizarre cases that JSO Director Mike Bruno said he has ever come across during his entire career.
Nelson Turin, 47, is accused of performing botox procedures without a medical license. The treatments included wrinkled detouring injections which are commonly given by a doctor or another licensed medical professional, Bruno said during a news conference Wednesday.
He was also doing it without the appropriate insurance to protect his clients and without the appropriate state certification, Bruno added.
"He was willing to let his clients take a risk so that he could get paid in cash," Bruno said.
During the investigation, detectives found several online videos showing the suspect injecting clients with botox and doing other treatments.
He reportedly did lip and cheek fillers, nose jobs as well as any other type of botox-related treatments, Bruno said. Turin has several videos posted to social media and the internet advertising the services he provided.
One advertisement investigators came across was a Botox and Bubbles event at a spa located at 12627 San Jose Boulevard. Investigators found that the botox was for the clients but the bubbles were for both the clients and Turin, according to JSO.
Bruno said Turin was drinking Champagne and Four Loko during the patient consultations. After discovering this evidence, JSO began its investigation.
An undercover JSO detective posing as a patient entered the spa to see Turin about a botox treatment on March 12, Bruno said.
The detective was escorted to a private treatment room at the spa where he had a consultation with Turin. During the consultation, Turin discussed the products he would use to treat the undercover detective.
The detective reported that Turin was drinking alcohol during the consultation, according to JSO.
Detectives said his injection kit contained needles and unknown substances from foreign countries. As Turin was preparing to do the treatment, other JSO detectives came in the room and arrested him, Bruno said.
Upon his arrest, JSO found that Turin had vials of botox, lidocaine and other treatment drugs that he wasn't authorized to have.
Further investigation revealed that Turin was only certified in Florida as a phlebotomist and a medical assistant.
Additionally, investigators confirmed with the Florida Department of Health that Turin is not a doctor, or an advanced nurse practitioner and was not authorized to conduct any of the treatments he offers. "He was not legally able to carry any of those materials," Bruno said.
Turin reportedly received training from an institute in Orlando where he obtained his certifications in oral surgery and phlebotomy. He used his certification license numbers from the institute he was trained at to illegally get the drugs he used for his patients, Bruno said.
Turin was charging his patients $350 to inject botox in their faces. There was no insurance involved "so if anything went wrong with the patients Turin could just pack his bags and leave town," Bruno said.
While investigating, JSO was not focused on the spa's activities. Investigators confirmed that the spa is legal. Turin presented himself to the owners of the spa as having the appropriate medical credentials, Bruno said.
At this time, JSO has not received any reports of any significant mishaps from Turin's procedures. However, detectives did observe a woman in the waiting area of the spa who had returned because she was not happy with her original procedure.
Bruno explained that JSO's initial concern was how is this going to impact the public and said that "[Turin's] really preying on the public." Authorities are urging anyone to contact them if they have been injured or have more information.
JSO is also encouraging residents to get to know their doctors and said that FDOH offers resources where individuals can check the certifications of their physicians.
Turin is facing multiple charges including practicing or attempting to practice medicine without a valid medical license, three counts of possession of legend drugs without prescription with intent to sell or deliver and leading the public to believe that one is licensed as a medical doctor.
Authorities are still investigating and said more charges may be announced.