Texas Experiences Rash of Fake Dermal Filler Injuries, 3 People So Far Indicted in Scam

In Hidalgo, Texas, three different beauticians are accused of injecting patients with toxic, non-medical silicone or other liquid plastics instead of an FDA-approved dermal filler. In all, 30 patients report health issues, and at least one has died.

On the 19th of the month, Elva Navarro, owner of Bella Face and Body Spa in McAllen, Texas, was charged with administering non-medical grade silicone as a replacement for a legitimate dermal filler, reports the Department of Justice (DOJ). Navarro’s alleged crimes came to light when a woman in her care landed in intensive care after being injected with an unknown polymer, according to a report by The Monitor on the case.

Navarro is the third person arrested in Southern Texas for administering fake dermal fillers to unsuspecting patients in the last 6 months. FoxRio2 reports that in the last year, Nohemi Gonzalez and Graciela Trevino Leon were indicted on charges alleging they were also injecting patients with liquid silicone.

Nohemi “Mimi” Gonzalez was originally indicted after one of the women she had treated ended up in the hospital as a result of the injections, according to Action 4 News. They also report that Gonzalez may face homicide charges as one of the women in her care has died of her injections.

Spa owner Graciela Trevino Leon gave herself up to authorities promptly upon the arrest of Gonzalez. She faces charges of practicing medicine without a license, reports Action 4 News. According to Action 4 News, Leon gave a full confession at the time of her indictment that her alleged role was to provide a place for Gonzalez to give her clandestine injections.

Hidalgo County Sheriff, Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño, warned FoxRio2 that these 3 fake dermal filler cases “are only the tip of the iceberg” and that more arrests in similar cases should be expected.

By S. Imber