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Clandestine Clinic Shut Down, Two Arrested

August 16, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Detectives who went to a house to investigate a child molestation complaint discovered a filthy, ill-equipped and unlicensed dental office, and arrested two people.

Detective Steve Merrin said that when he and two other detectives arrived at the house Thursday, it was littered with dental tools, bridgework and drugs. There was a porcelain spit bowl attached to a pipe to carry blood and saliva out to the back yard.

Electrical cutting pliers apparently were used to pull teeth, he said. Cockroaches had crawled inside an autoclave, which is used to sterilize instruments.

″The place was a filthy mess, just absolutely disgusting,″ he said.

A woman’s complaint that her 6-year-old daughter had been molested at a dentist’s office led police to the Van Nuys area house.

As the officers approached the house, ″a little girl came out the front door,″ Merrin said. ″She had bloody gauze in her mouth.

″I walked in and the first thing I saw was an old-style dental chair that you might see in the ’50s, and there was an X-ray machine strapped over it,″ he said.

The house contained records of more than 200 patients. Merrin said the records showed the business had been going for at least a year, and some patients had spent thousands of dollars.

Police and dental officials say illegal aliens may be attracted to such clandestine dental offices because licensed dentists normally require their patients to fill out applications and provide Social Security and driver’s license numbers.

Carmen Cevallos, 29, was arrested for investigation of operating an illegal dental practice, and Carlos Andrade, 34, was taken into custody for investigation of child molestation, police Lt. L.A. Durrer said Friday.

The two were released on bail.

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