The Investigators

Jan 22, 2014 10:56 AM by Tom McNamara and Paul Birmingham

Prison likely for defendants in illegal cosmetic surgery case

An update to a story the News 4 Tucson Investigators broke last August. It's about a Tucson man who is facing a number of serious charges, after authorities say he illegally performed several botched cosmetic surgeries at a westside business.

Gustavo Nuñez, along with two co-defendants, are facing those felony charges after the DEA, Tucson Police and South Tucson Police raided that business. Investigators say Nuñez had been performing liposuction and breast enlargement surgeries without a medical license. Now, the three have a decision to make. That decision could ultimately seal their fate.

Nuñez and his co-defendants, Ilda Garcia, and Carlotta Monroy, along with their lawyers, appeared Tuesday morning in Pima County Superior Court. The News 4 Tucson Investigators were there with our cameras rolling.

They're charged with practicing medicine without a license, possession of dangerous drugs, and aggravated assault.

Authorities say the illegal cosmetic surgeries, including liposuction and breast augmentation, were performed inside an industrial building near Drachman and Oracle roads.

The three have pleaded not guilty to the charges. The case is being prosecuted by the Arizona Attorney General's office. There is a plea agreement on the table. It includes prison time. The three could also take their chances at trial against a determined prosecutor.

"The Attorney General's Office feels very strongly that these unlicensed, invasive procedures need to have a prison consequence," says Joshua Moser, Assistant Attorney General.

Two women ended up in the emergency room, after investigators say Nuñez botched their liposuction and breast augmentation procedures. They suffered severe complications including infections. Authorities tell the News 4 Tucson Investigators, those women may not be alone.

"Due to the first round of media coverage, we were able to find out that there were other victims, and in fact we were able to incorporate some of that information into the indictment. If there are any other victims that would like to come forward, we would certainly welcome that at this time," Moser says.

Nuñez and his attorney didn't want to speak with the News 4 Tucson Investigators on camera.

The trio is set to appear in court again on March 10th, to let the judge know their decision. We'll also be there, to let you know how it goes.

If you have something you would like the News 4 Tucson Investigator to look into, email us at, or call the News 4 Tucson Investigators tipline at 955-4444.


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