A New Cassel man with no formal training allegedly performed dentistry for more than 100 people in an “extremely unsanitary” office inside his home for more than a year, according to investigators.
Manuel Carranza pleaded not guilty Thursday at Nassau County court to charges of unauthorized practice of a crime, possession of a forged instrument, possession of a dangerous weapon and criminal diversion of a prescription. A judge set his bail at $2,500.
“I can’t stress enough how dirty and unclean” the office inside the suspect’s home was, said Det. Lt. Raymond Cote, noting the lack of an autoclave—a sterilizing machine that heats up dental tools to kill bacteria.
Police arrested the 46-year-old man Wednesday after a tipster reported an alleged illegal dental operation at the house on Grand Boulevard.
When detectives raided the home they found a blue chair and dentists tools that Carranza told police he bought second-hand at dental expos, Cote said. They also found an anesthetic, lidocaine, allegedly purchased over the Internet, police said.
Carranza, an undocumented immigrant from Honduras with a sixth-grade education, used the equipment to perform root canals and fillings, charging “patients” up to $50, Cote said.
Police also found two stun guns, which the suspect used to protest his cash-only business, Cote added. Carranza even had business cards made up.
“It’s obvious what he was doing,” Cote said. “Based on our interview with him, he is not at all ashamed to talk about what he’s been doing and the service he’s providing.”
Investigators don’t believe he operated on children. He is due back in court Monday.