Las Vegas Sun

July 31, 2014

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Metro: Illegal medical clinic busted in Las Vegas

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Eric Vargas-Rivera

Eric Vargas-Rivera

One man has been arrested and a Metro Police investigation is ongoing after a string of phony medical offices containing dangerous narcotics were uncovered, according to police.

Eric Vargas-Rivera, 41, was arrested on Wednesday on one count of felony furnishing dangerous drugs without a prescription, a Metro release said. Police say he's in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and it's unclear whether he has an attorney.

The investigation started after the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy received a tip about an illegal dentist office on West Oakey Boulevard, near Sahara Avenue and Decatur Boulevard, the release said.

The probe revealed several medical businesses in the complex were unlicensed, including a dentist office, a primary physician office and a pain and joint management clinic.

The offices were connected through a common hallway, the release said.

A Metro Police arrest report outlines the following details:

Vargas-Rivera told police he was a licensed doctor in Mexico, but was not licensed in the United States. He had been practicing despite knowing it was illegal to do so, he said.

He said he was trying to obtain a Nevada license but he didn’t know how and he couldn’t afford it.

The operation was cash-only.

Vargas-Rivera told police he was the only one working in the office and that he gets his medication and pills from Mexico. He said he only gives people medications and injections and refers people with more serious medical needs to go to a hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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