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Fake doctor’s office closed in Corona: DA

Police arrested 21a Galarza, 49, of 153-23...

By Betsy Scheinbart

Four New Yorkers were arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license after police found a sedated woman bleeding on an operating table in a Corona office building last Thursday, police said.

Police arrested 21a Galarza, 49, of 153-23 58th Ave., Flushing and Johnny Zurita Velasquez, 46, of 590 W. 204th St., New York, who allegedly performed surgery on the woman without a medical license, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Also arrested were Jennifer Gando, 30, of 89-14 171st St., Jamaica, charged with illegally practicing as a nurse, and Patricia Bautista, 37, of 86-14 85th St., Woodhaven, who allegedly practiced dentistry without a license, Brown said.

The four defendants were arraigned Friday in Queens Criminal Court, where their bail was set at $25,000 each. They could face up to four years in prison if convicted.

The victim, 46, whose name was not released, was found lying on an operating table bleeding profusely from her mouth. She had been anesthetized, Brown said.

She was taken by ambulance to Elmhurst Hospital, said Carmen Melendez, a police spokeswoman.

Police officers from the 115th Precinct, acting on a tip from detectives in the 107th Precinct, found Velasquez dressed in medical garb near the sedated woman on the second floor of a commercial building at 98-19 37th Ave. in Corona, Brown and Melendez said.

“It is clear that an illegal and unsanitary medical and dental facility was operating and that surgery was being performed and medicines and drugs were being administered,” Brown said after visiting the office.

Police saw medical equipment, hypodermic needles, tanks of oxygen, drugs, dental equipment and medical records in the building, Brown said.

“It appears that the defendants were, among other things, performing plastic surgery of various kinds and were taking fees for the performance of these procedures,” Brown said.

“Surgery of any kind is a serious proposition and should be performed only under optimum medical conditions by duly licensed physicians,” he said.

He cautioned Queens residents to check the credentials of people who present themselves as physicians by contacting the New York State Education Department’s Division of Professional Licensing at 518-474-1449.

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.

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