Mike Bruno, Director of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, is calling it “one of the most bizarre cases” he’s ever seen throughout his long career. During a press conference on Wednesday, he announced that a man named Nelson Turin has been arrested after injecting locals with BotoxⓇ without a medical license or the proper state certifications. Undercover detectives helped bring the man to justice.
Just make sure you ask to see a copy of the provider’s license before you get Botox.
“Botox and Bubbles”
Advertisements for so-called “Botox and Bubbles” events could be seen around town. The image features a picture of Turin and several good-looking people getting Botox injections. The event took place at Luxus – Clinical Esthetics, a facial spa in Jacksonville.
According to authorities, they first became aware of Turin after getting a tip from another law enforcement agency that the suspect was performing Botox treatments without the proper license. Investigators found videos of him performing the procedure online. During the investigation, they found copies of the flyers promoting the “Botox and Bubbles” event.
But according to Bruno, “The Botox was for the clients. The bubbles, that was for the clients and the doctor.”
He added, “Turin was also consuming champagne and Four Loko, which is a malt beverage. He would do this during the patient consultations, while he would sit down and have the patient on the table, basically telling them what they would do or what he would need to do and what kind of services they would be provided.”
To bring Turin to justice, Bruno says an undercover detective posed as a potential client on March 12th. He visited the facial spa in Jacksonville and asked about getting Botox. Bruno says the undercover agent witnessed Turin consuming alcoholic beverages during the consultation. The fake doctor also set up an injection kit, used a marker to identify different areas for an injection, and prepared to perform a treatment.
“That’s when our other detectives came in and stopped him where he was and he was arrested prior to doing any of the services on our undercover officer,” Bruno said.
Investigators checked to see if Turin had a medical license with the Florida Department of Health and the Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
“He’s not a doctor. He’s not an advanced nurse practitioner. He’s not authorized to possess the Botox, the lidocaine or any of the other drugs,” Bruno said.
The Sheriff’s office found that Turin received some training from an institute in Orlando, where he received certificates in oral surgery and phlebotomy. Bruno added that Turin used these certificates to obtain the Botox illegally. He would then turn around and offer his customers a steep discount, usually around $350 a visit. These procedures usually cost three times that much.
“He would do lip, chin, cheek fillers, nose lifts, as well as any other Botox-type of injection,” Bruno added.
During the investigation, the authorities found a vial that expired in 2020. Other vials had illegible markings from other countries. Dr. Linda Quinn, who practices in Jacksonville Beach, says the drug won’t work past the expiration date. “The preservatives won’t work. Would anybody drink expired milk, for example?”
Medical experts agree that Botox must be used before the expiration date. It has a set shelf-life just like any other medicine.
According to the Sheriff’s office, Turin was arrested for “Practicing Medicine without a Valid Medical License, Possession of Legend Drugs without Prescription, & Leading the Public to believe that one is a Licensed Medical Doctor.” Legend drugs are substances that require a prescription and must be dispensed by a licensed provider.
The authorities say the Luxus facial spa is a legitimate business, but that Turin misled the owners into believing he was a licensed provider.
Turin’s attorney, W. Hale Kelly, told a local news outlet that his client “vehemently maintains his innocence of all charges filed by the state.”
It’s not clear how many people Turin treated before the authorities arrested him.
If you’re looking for a bit of Botox, it’s probably best to pay full price. As Bruno added, “That is a general rule as a consumer. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”