Police shut down underground surgical clinic in southwest Las Vegas

Las Vegas police said an underground clinic where surgeries were being performed by unlicensed doctors was shut down Monday.

One woman was arrested. Jing Qu, 55, of Flushing N.Y., was performing a procedure when officers entered the premises, authorities said. Qu was arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center. She faces two counts of practicing medicine without a license.

Police said the clinic was in a home on 7700 block of Sommerhill Point Way, near Jones Boulevard and Warm Springs Road in the southwest valley.

Las Vegas police Lt. Laz Chavez said neighbors notified police after noticing unusual foot traffic and several of their neighbors wearing medical gowns.

Chavez said regular medical procedures also were being performed in the home, in addition to the cosmetic surgeries.

Police have difficulty finding these homes because the "doctors" move their operations frequently.

"It's a cash-only business, and they move all around town," he said. "It might be in a residential community this week, or it might be behind a liquor store next week."

Chavez said the operation was similar to that of a Colombian couple arrested in April after a 42-year-old woman died from a failed buttocks enhancement surgery.

Ruben Dario Matallana-Galvas and Carmen Olfidia Torres-Sanchez pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license in the death of Elena Caro, a mother of three. District Judge Abbi Silver sentenced both Matallana-Galvas, 56, and Torres-Sanchez, 47, to four years and two months to eight years in prison last month.

Chavez said the fake doctors target low-income neighborhoods, offering discounted procedures for those without insurance. The Hispanic community is the primary target, he said.

"This is a cautionary story for the community to stay away from these things," Chavez said. "People are being victimized and don't even know what they're being injected with."

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.