Authorities bust two men accused of being phony dentists in Linden

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Jorge Renteria-Paz and Hector Carro are accused of being fake dentists. Jorge Renteria-Paz and Hector Carro are accused of being fake dentists.
LINDEN -

Law enforcement officials in Union County say that they have arrested two men who allegedly were operating an illegal dentist office out of two homes in Linden.

County prosecutors say 46-year-old Jorge Renteria-Paz and 73-year-old Hector Carro were charged with unlawful practice of dentistry. 

Investigators say that the men preyed on undocumented immigrants who were unable to afford proper dental work. A woman who claimed she paid the men nearly $1,000 over several visits told police she developed an infection after her procedure, prompting the probe.

Authorities say officers went to the apartments in Linden on Tuesday and seized a handheld X-ray machine, sterilization equipment, various dental tools and $20,000 in cash. They say that the entire operation was not hygienic.

"These two locations were incredibly unhygienic and they were basically makeshift dental offices,” says Assistant Union County Prosecutor Shawn Barnes.

One of the “offices” was inside the basement of Renteria-Paz's home on Chandler Avenue. The other was being run out of Unit 5 of the Theresa Garden Apartment complex where Carro lived.

Authorities did not say if either man had any dentistry training. But News 12 New Jersey has learned that Renteria-Paz was a dentist in Peru. The New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs says neither men were ever a licensed dentist in New Jersey.

Officials say that they want to speak to anyone who may have had dental work done by either of the two men, regardless of their immigration status.

"We will not be asking any questions to anyone in regards to residency status or immigration status,” says Detective Rudy Correia. “We will welcome anyone who has been victimized by these two individuals."

A spokesperson for the Department of Consumer Affairs says authorities receive a handful of complaints about unlicensed dentists each year. Patients who feel that they have been victimized can file a report by calling the New Jersey Board of Dentistry at 973-504-6405.

Union County officials say that there is a state registry that offers help for low-income families that are in need of dental work, this way they do not have to resort to using phony doctors.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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