Pharr Woman Sentenced in Liquid Silicone Injection Case
MCALLEN, TX—Maribel Quintero, 39, has been ordered to federal prison following her guilty plea of violating the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Quintero, of Pharr, pleaded guilty May 29, 2105.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane took into consideration Quintero’s criminal history and handed her a total sentence of 16 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. Additional information was also presented today, including testimony from a woman who was hospitalized after receiving the liquid silicone injections Quintero administered. In handing down the sentence, Judge Crane ordered that Quintero pay $15,760 in restitution to the victim who testified in regards to her injuries and medical treatment.
“The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) laws are designed to protect the public health by ensuring, among other things, that medical devices are safe and effective for their intended uses. The medical device here, liquid silicone, failed to meet the standards set by those laws and thus posed a safety risk to U.S. consumers,” said Special Agent in Charge Catherine A. Hermsen, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Kansas City Field Office. “We will continue to focus our resources on removing such risks and protecting the public’s health.”
Quintero admitted administering injections of liquid silicone into individuals who wanted to enhance the structure of their buttocks. These injections were not approved by the FDA. Quintero also falsely represented to customers to whom she administered the liquid silicone that they were safe when, in fact, they were not.
On Sept. 9, 2014, she possessed an adulterated device—liquid silicone—and was about to use it on a male customer. She admitted that she intended to mislead him by not disclosing that she had knowledge of previous complications due to the use of the liquid silicone.
The investigation into this case began in August 2014 after law enforcement received information that Quintero was involved with providing liquid silicone to women to effect the structure and function of their bodies.
Quintero will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the FDA—Office of Criminal Investigations, FDA—Forensic Chemistry Center, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Alex Benavides are prosecuting the case.