LAWRENCE (CBS) – Police are seeking criminal charges against a woman who was operating an illegal dentist’s office out of an apartment.
Local and federal detectives stumbled upon the makeshift office during an unrelated drug investigation.
Investigators say Maira Josefina Villanueva, 43, had about 30 patients and she claimed to be a doctor in her native Dominican Republic.
According to police, Villanueva would work on people with minor toothaches, cavities, tighten braces and would change crowns.
Villanueva said she became a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic in 1997 and worked for the government for several years. When she moved to the United States, she never obtained a license. Police have not confirmed she was a doctor in the Dominican Republic.
In photos released by Lawrence Police, a dentist’s chair is seen in a room with medical supplies and some dental equipment.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports
The waiting room had lawn chairs and other random chairs. Patient record books and receipts were also found.
Villanueva was issued a summons Tuesday for a public health crime and posing as a dentist, punishable by six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine