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Woman arrested, accused of offering to inject undercover officers with knockoff Botox

Los Angeles Police Department detectives arrested a woman last month after she allegedly offered to inject undercover officers with counterfeit Botox in a downtown hotel room that she’d converted into a makeshift medical office, police said Wednesday.

Vivian Espinoza was arrested Jan. 23 on suspicion of furnishing prescription drugs and practicing medicine without a license, the LAPD said in a statement. It’s unclear whether she has been charged with a crime. A call to the detectives handling her case wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday evening.

Police said Espinoza had set up a makeshift medical office in a hotel room in the 400 block of South Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles. She is accused of offering to inject undercover LAPD officers with counterfeit Botox and Juvaderm, an injectable filler used to smooth wrinkles.

Samples of the drugs were tested at a laboratory and confirmed to be counterfeit, according to the LAPD. The department warned in a statement that such knockoffs, which aren’t subject to the same testing and regulatory oversight as their genuine counterparts, can cause facial paralysis, blindness, infection and other health problems.

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Detectives from the department’s Illicit Pharmaceutical and Counterfeit Unit also seized from Espinoza’s hotel room syringes, needles and materials used for PDO thread lifts, another type of cosmetic surgery, the LAPD said.

The department asked that anyone who has been sold medical services from Espinoza or who has knowledge of her operation contact commercial crimes detectives at (213) 486-6940.


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