A 32-year-old man had a thriving dental practice operating out of a home near Melrose Park, but Cook County sheriff's police said he lacked one important item: a medical license.
Special Operations Unit officers recently began investigating a tip about the fraudulent dental office in a home on the 2000 block of North Emerson Street in an unincorporated area of Cook County near Melrose Park.
But when they tried to set up an appointment, a receptionist said nothing was open for a week because of the full schedule of patients, according to the Cook County Sheriff's office.
When an undercover officer was waiting for her appointment in the home Thursday, she saw a previous patient leave after getting a root canal procedure, the sheriff's office said.
Officers then entered the home and found an entire dental office set up inside, with a chair, lights, tools, syringes, an X-ray machine and more.
The alleged dentist, Alberto Nunez, 32, of the 7800 block of South Kenton Avenue in Chicago, told officers that he had attended a dental school in Mexico City, but he could not provide documentation that he had completed the course and he was not licensed to practice dentistry in Illinois, according to the sheriff's office.
Investigators said it appeared Nunez had been performing a variety of dental procedures including root canals, bite impressions, cleanings, dental surgery and braces. He had been seeing about 30 patients a week for at least two years, and had another location before the current one.
Nunez was charged with a Class 4 felony of practicing dentistry without a license and a misdemeanor unlawful possession of hypodermic syringes, authorities said. A $10,000 individual recognizance bond was set today and he was next scheduled to appear Sept. 6 in the Maywood courthouse.